Confusion About MRSA

Updated on August 13, 2008
A.M. asks from Woodstock, GA
24 answers

I hope someone out there can help clear up some questions I have about MRSA. I'm afraid of the possability of my daughters "catching" it from a good friend of the family. If it was up to me I'd just keep my kids away but it is my husband's best friend's 2 year old (that has it) and he doesn't agree with my concerns. This poor little boy supposedly caught it from an elderly family member and about 6 months ago had sores all over him. My kids were not around him at this time but now he is doing better (no sores but supposedly has it "internally" and will have it for the rest of his life. Is this like herpes in that someone can only catch it when the virus is active and the person has a sore??? I'm just really confused as to how bad it is for my children to be around it ok or not?

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So What Happened?

Thanks to those of you who responded. I see now that the facts about MRSA are not so black and white! I did end up calling the ped and asking the nurse who notified me that no matter where we go MRSA is around and a lot of people don't even know they have it. So the best way to protect our kids is to keep their hands washed and I'm also not going to let them play with thier little friend when he (or they) are in the least bit sick!! Thanx again for the help!

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answers from St. Louis on

Oh my!! I am a SAHM of an 11 month old and do not know what MRSA stands for. Should I? PLease let me know what this is so I can educate myself.

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answers from Washington DC on

You should listen to your inner voice in all matters concerning your child's health. I did some research and I found a few things that may help you feel more at ease. First of all your must keep your child's immune system strong by not giving her alot of sugar and processed foods. Her innner terrain is most important when it comes to staying healthy. An inner ph of 7.00- 7.2 is best. Search the Wolf clinic on the net and you can get a list of foods that are alkalizing. Then there is this great new disinfectant that uses cleaners that are green and the MRSA bacteria is not immune to its strength because it comes from nature see, and finally there is a honey from New Zealand that MRSA can not survive see

I am a spiritual person and I believe what ever you give power to with your mind does have power. Fear is the Biggest Illness in the World, The creator has a cure for every human illness. We only have to look to God made nature to find our answers and stop being arrogant humans thinking we can create a cure better than the Creator who made everthing in Creation. If you are of the belief in Evolution which in my opinion does not cancel out creation; then Man must look deep within to find all the answers to all his problems. Disease needs a weak host to survive; make the host strong in Body Mind and Spirit and no bad, evil, or disease can exist in its being. Find peace in whatever you decide to do as a parent. If you are still unsure be sure to get a really good Homeopath, Naturopath and/or Acupuncturist. These are professionals that will try to do no harm in order to heal your body. If you can find a pediatrician that has a holistic approach to healing than you have a win win situation.

Be strong in Body Mind and Spirit,

R. A R.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

Hello A.,

I was just reading through all the posts to this and wanted to one thank all the moms (and dads) who did research and responded. I have also used more natural forms germ fighters, being a licensed massage therapist for over 15 years, and now, due to my sons need for surgery, educating people on safer and healthier products. The grapefruit seed extract is great and has many uses. I have had three people I know in just the past month or two come down with MRSA. One was a diabetic who had a scrap on his stump and they found it when they couldn't revive him and took him to the emergency room. So, for those who have a stressed or compromised immune system, it isn't something to take lightly. But, one more thing to add to your arsenal is Tea Tree Oil. I have used essential oils for years, and while researching other products, came across an article on resistant staph and strep, as well as salmonella being treated with tea tree oil. It is a known antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, has soothing effects on skin rashes as well as being a great stain lifter. Doctors are using it in wound treatment, and even wounds on diabetics. I use hand soap for myself and kids with tea tree oil in it. It is a natural bug repellent when used in the right medium, but also takes the itch out of stings, bug bites and poison ivy. The tea tree shampoo I use for my daughter has kept the "lice" away. It is important to make sure you have true and high quality oil. Cheaper quality is irritating to sensative skin. I am totally agreeing with the people who said we have to be careful to not over use antibacterial soaps. They create resistance in super bugs as well as mutations in frogs, and other wildlife. Our kids are important, and keeping them safe should be our number one priority, but we can also be more responsible in protecting our environment so our kids have one to enjoy later. :-) Good luck and stay safe.


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Naples on

I know that you have had alot of resonses and widely varying ideas - but here goes my two cents worth. I'm going to copy and paste what I wrote on another thread about bug bites that wouldn't heal - it's really long - but I think that it's worth the read - have had pm's saying that it was long but that they were glad that they took the time to read. We had a terrible bout with MRSA - from my daughter's first day care experience from he**. She no longer goes there, has had bites, scrapes etc. and no recurrance after the following nightmare and treatment. Please READ:

Date: Mon. Aug. 04, 2008
I know that this is late, but I wanted to chime in and give you a little info based on our family's experience with bug bites and MRSA. My daughter came home from her part time day care with what appeared to be ant bites. Over the course of the weekend, she continued to complain about them itching and hurting and said that if she had "princess bandaids" they would feel better. I put Neosporan +, and waterproof, Nexcare princess bandages on them. By the beginning of the week - she was saying that she couldn't walk. When I pulled the bandages off, it looked like someone had put something the size of a pea under her skin, and they were turning black! We rushed to the pediatrician, who prescribed an oral antibiotic, told me to give it to her at the store (5PM), again before bedtime, again in the morning, and then bring her back @ 9 AM. When I brought her back, they took one look at her and said take her to the hospital. At the hospital (Arnold Palmer in Orlando) they anesthetized her and cut it out of 3 places! :( They also gave her IV antibiotics, and a prescription for 2 oral antibiotics. I was a wreck! To make a long story short - she ended up coming down with it 3 times in less than 2 months. I didn't take her back to the daycare until all lesions were completley healed and she had NO open skin breaks of any kind. Well, the first time that I took her back - wham - she came home with the same kind of little red bump that looked like an ant bite. I was upset - but the next morning when it started swelling and looking like the others - I was really upset. We took her back to A/P and the same thing, this time they swabbed her nose and it came back positive for MRSA. I decided that if she had contracted this at the day care and was bringing it home, then I was going to irradicate it in our house. All towels were washed in hot water and bleach, all clothes in hot water soaked overnight and washed twice. I also started washing my daughter down with Betadine after her bath, letting it soak a couple of minutes and then rinsing her. I even washed the dog in Betadine. When she had the 3rd outbreak - we were referred to an infectious disease specialist in Orlando - Dr. Catherine Lamprecht. My friends were telling me that I was going overboard, and that I can't bubble wrap my baby, but the Pediatrician thought the Betadine was a good idea - but suggested that it might be alot of exposure to iodine and suggested that I switch to Hibi-Cleanse (what they use to scrub in for surgery). She told me to use it DAILY if she had any kind of bite, scrape, cut, scratch or broken skin of any kind, then 3 times a week for a couple of weeks after the last MRSA outbreak finished healing, and then once a week for maintenance. The infectious disease specialist thought that was a great plan! Dr. Lamprecht was also concerned because while the hospital thought that they were going after this very aggressively - they prescribed the wrong antibiotic! According to her - the ONLY antibiotics that are effective against MRSA are :BACTROBAN/ MUPIROCIN on lesions, and orally - BACTRIM/SEPTRA , CLINDAMYCIN, or ZYVOX. She specified that Keflex and Augmentin are NOT effective. My daughter only went to daycare twice a week from 9-2 for playtime with other kids, she no longer goes to day care, and amazingly we haven't had any problems since! all of the Dr.s that we saw said that it is running rampant in the daycares, schools and gyms! Scrub scrub scrub, clean clean clean! I hope that this information helps you.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

My grandfather got MRSA after heaving surgery done on his back, The equipment that they used was not propery sterlie. The eldery are more proned to it then young people including kids. My grandfather has had this since Feburary, he is now free of any infections but he is a carrier for this, He will have to be on meds for the rest of his life. This is nothing like herpes or any kind of virus like that, Just make sure your kids have washed there hands properly, i would call there Dr and let them know, he may want to have them tested. You can also get this from spider bites as well, my father and my best friend got MRSA from spider bites. I have done plenty of research on this. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Please keep us posted.

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answers from Cincinnati on

MRSA is a type of staph that is normally dormant in the body (even of clean people). If you get a cut, have surgery, get a tattoo, ears pierced, bug bites, etc the staph gets into the skin opening and can cause infection. Having everyone wash their hands regularly and keeping open sores clean and dry will help prevent the infection from getting serious. I have attached a link from webmd that explains more.

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answers from Detroit on

I missed this post before, but I just wanted to add something from my own clinical experience. I am a pediatric nurse practitioner at a children's hospital and the infectious disease doctors I work with will sometimes treat patients or whole families who are carriers and get recurrent abscesses with a two week treatment including special soap and an antibacterial ointment to try to wipe out the bacteria. This is not for everyone, but for known carriers it can definitely help decrease recurrent infections.
The truth is, though MRSA used to be more confined to nursing homes and hospitals, many of us these dayse are probably carrying it around on our skin and in our noses. For most it will never cause any problems. It is something to be concerned about, but not something to panic over in the generel population. The media recently has done a lot to scare people about it, but it is here and here to stay. Many types of bacteria have become resistant to different medications partly because of overuse when antibiotics are not needed (ie: MD's prescribing antibiotics for just cold symptoms, etc.). You can do your part by making sure when antibiotics are prescribed, there is a real reason.

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answers from Dallas on

My then 2-year-old contracted it at a day care center. She had pneumonia, spent 8 days at Children's Medical Center and had to have surgery to drain the fluid from her lung. Her odds of survival were 50/50. That year several small children died of MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)

Her pediatrician had way over-prescribed her antibiotics for recurrent ear infections. This made her susceptible.

After she recovered somewhat, we kept her at home for 1 1/2 years with a high-school aged baby sitter.

Today, she is a robust 4 1/2 year-old. My uncle, a flight surgeon, tells me that the kids who survive something like that do not have compromised immune systems for the rest of their lives, rather they have superior immune systems. So far it has proven true. She has remained well after unintentional contact with sick people, including chicken pox that swept through her friends (the CDC is saying the chicken pox vaccine is only about 40% effective these days and recommends a SECOND vaccination).

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answers from San Diego on

A., you should keep Melaleuca Oil in your home. It is antifungal, antiseptic, and kills the MRSA virus. And many others. is their website. I can help you shop there as you need to be a member. My cousin's friend got it from a co-worker and she used the Melaleuca oil on it right away and it went away. Here is my number ###-###-####. I am in California.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

There is a lot of misinformation about MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus-hope I spelled that right lol).

Many of the hospitals have become highly alerted when it comes to dealing with MRSA. First of all, once you have the infection, you are considered a carrier. You may not have any open lesions, but you have the bacteria in your body. If you or someone you know is diagnosed with it, please practice good handwashing and cleaning techinques. I have seen people get it from bath tubs after bathing after an infected family member, and many other ways of transmission. First, keeping all wounds covered is a good idea. If someone has an open wound, or a weeping wound, it needs to be covered to prevent spreading of the infection. I totally disagree with the person whos child has eczema, and has not notified the school or the teacher that she also has had MRSA. That is just one of the many ways it is spread rapidly through the community. Just because a family member has not been contaminated does not mean that little "Johnny" who sits next to him and is immunocompromised due to other illnesses cannot catch it by sitting in the same chair, using the same bathroom, etc... especially if he scratched his knee on recess. It all comes down to education and hygiene. If there are open wounds, or sores present, it can spread easily. A child scratching an area that is irritated from the eczema and touches a classroom item is the easiest way to transmit it.

Once someone has been treated and they are a carrier, they should not be treated as a lepper though. If there are no open or "wet" areas, then just practice good handwashing to prevent spreading. If MRSA was so easy to catch, every nurse and doctor would have it. If we see a wound we cover it immediately. We teach good cleaning for incisions to prevent contamination.

There are so many variations to MRSA, some people can have it in their lungs, and that causes a whole new set of issues. If someone you know is in the hospital under isolation, please verify with the staff what precautions you need to take before entering the room. Hopefully, when they are discharged to home, they are given education on how to prevent spreading it.

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answers from College Station on

I was terrified and paranoid about MRSA when the media started covering it so much last fall, and then my then 5-year-old son had MRSA around that same time. He had a single insect bite that turned into a boil that had to be drained and was infected with MRSA. He took a sulfa-antibiotic (which works because it is not a penicillin drug, which is what MRSA is resistant to). He was also allowed to go to school as long as the wound was covered (kept a band-aid on it, plus it was on his inner thigh so that was easy to do). Since then, though I am super-paranoid everytime any of my 3 kids gets a cut or insect bite, we have not had any recurrences of the infection. One doctor that we saw (for other reasons, but to whom I expressed my concern about recurrences) said that some people are already immune to staph (since most people have staph on their bodies anyway and may never get a staph infection), and some build an immunity to it after having an infection (perhaps--and hopefully--what my son has done since he has not had any recurrences). Plus, everything that I have read says that good hygiene is the best way to prevent infection, because what you want to prevent is the fluid from an infected sore getting into the fluid of an uninfected sore. I hope that helps and reassures.

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answers from Seattle on

I have read all of the responses, and people have mentioned overuse of antibiotics for ear infections and colds. Most doctors know not to overprescribe now. But now the focus has changed. Now I see antibiotic soaps, usually liquid soaps, in all my friends' households!

Don't you think that washing your hands in antibiotics every day will create superbugs on your skin resistant to those antibiotics? I am not talking about people treating open wounds. These are kids with mudpies on their hands washing with antibiotics. I would like to hear from other medical professionals if they are as concerned about this as I am.

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answers from Grand Rapids on

I thought I would answer this though it is a website for mothers, and I am stay at home husband my wife and I own a daycare. We have 2 boys 11 and 9.

MRSA is a staph infection, all people carry different strands of staph on them at all times. What makes MRSA so dangerous is that unlike common staph it has developed an immunity to most anti-biotic medications. It is best to not come into bodily contact unless unaviodable, if contact with an infected sore occurs washing with soap is the best way to prevent contracting it. UNfortunately MRSA is becoming more and more common in the world, I have known people who have gotten it from tourist spots (my father contracted MRSA in 1987 stepping on a nail), but recently it has been found in areas of large community activites i.e playgrounds, schools, and sports fields. It was originally an instition based disease found in hospitals and homes for the elderly. With proper care MRSA can be controlled and not spread. I have dealt with 3 people in my life having MRSA my father, father-in-law, and wife. I was 9 when I first learned about MRSA I am now 29 and have taken care of both my father and wife without contracting it myself.

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answers from Elkhart on

It would be great if we could protect our kids from everything all the time but, it isn't possible. My 2 yr old son and I have both been hospitalized for MRSA infections. Don't think this is just something that you "catch". MRSA is everywhere. There are two different strains of MRSA, the type found out in the community is more common then there is what I refer to as the "hospital" strain, which is more dangerous. I believe what my son and I had was the community strain. I had a small cut or scratch on my knee; I don't know where I got it or when but, it started acting like an ingrown hair but, it didn't get better. Started by going to the doctor and getting it checked out..the first culture came back as regular staph but, as treatment with antibiotics went on and there was no improvement in a week my whole lower leg started swelling and it became difficult to walk and drive. Finally got back into the doc and she sent me right to the hospital. A second culture was done and less than 2 days in the hospital we find out it is MRSA. I had been admitted Friday afternoon and was released Saturday evening. The nurses kept me in a quarantine room, visitors had to put on gowns, gloves and masks. I had a warm wet compress on the wound site constantly to try to get it to drain the infection. And I was 6 mos pregnant at the time!! So after all this we became very, very anal about hand washing all the time. Jump forward, 3 one had been sick, we had been clear of any sores for the whole time. Then 3 days before I am going to have the baby my son gets an odd diaper rash just inside the diaper on the front. Now, we think that this particular sore just got irritated by the urine and he ended up scratching it. Now, no way are you going to keep a spot like that clean with wearing a diaper. So, immediately we took him to the doc and unfortunately, my son is allergic to sulfa-based antibiotics and, we had to go with the lightweight Keflex. This did nothing as far as clearing up the infection. Overnight his abdomen became red and swollen and it became very hard for him to walk. We took him back to the doc and he was admitted. I stayed with him that night and had to have a special anti microbial wash before I went in to have my baby the next morning. The only medicine that worked for him was an IV drip because he was, my son was at one end of the hospital in quarantine and I am at the other end in maternity also in quarantine for the safety of the other moms and babies. I was apparently cleared for the MRSA and the night before I am to be discharged I start to get a fever. I had delivered my baby girl via c-section and my incision site had become infected with E. Coli and MRSA. Apparently, E. Coli infection is a very common thing to get after surgery. I was put on meds and sent home as soon as my fever was under control. Three days later, my surgeon didn't like how slowly the healing was going and readmitted me for IV meds. The best way to get rid of it. So, all this storytelling is to let you know that MRSA is on you, everywhere. You can't catch it from anybody but yourself. The only thing you can do is take AND TEACH the precautionary steps to keep from getting an infection...wash your hands. That is the best way to fight it. After you go to the bathroom, before you eat, after you eat, after blowing your nose, changing a diaper, preparing food...funny thing is this is the first thing we were taught in kindergarten. And use antibacterial hand soap. Don't keep your kids from playing with their will just create unnecessary isolation for that child and will teach your kids that being different is bad. And unless this kid is picking his scabs/sores and trying to get your kids to touch them I wouldn't worry about them getting it from him. They are kids..stuff happens..relax.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Hi A.-
I must have missed this post.
I work in the operating room and we see MRSA patients on a regular basis now- it's becoming more and more common like your pediatrician said.
It is a superbug- they mutate and with all the new antibacterials, we're adding to the issue.
Obviously in the OR, we're exposing the environment to body fluids. So the entire room is posted and we gown and glove and mask to be in the room. Might be overkill, but no need spreading the infection.
It's come into the light so much more now since those unsuspecting folk died from not getting treatments- immune compromised and kids who's immune system are not up to speed.
There are few antibiotics that can treat MRSA bugs now- a huge bummer- for those who develop the infections.
Don't panic, but certainly take the precautions your pediatrician gave you. Kids get bumps and cuts all the time- if young- that drooling saliva we all know so well too. What's more important - like dealing with say an HIV patient- it's not the patient to worry about, it's the person coming into contact with the patient. If you kids have cuts, make sure they are covered and do the hand washing as we all should- even grocery shopping : )

Hope that helps some......
About me: 47 yo perfusionist (open heart bypass), wellness coach on the side and mom to nearly 7yo twin girls.

B. J

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answers from San Francisco on

I am responding to you comment in the "what happened" section about keeping your child away from anyone who "is the least bit sick" FYI - when we get sick we are the most contagious BEFORE you have symptoms. Therefore it's not possible to keep you child away from virus/bacteria that cause illness. Also there is some newer data suggesting that we are living a too clean life and not letting our immune systme work. Then when we are exposed to something bad our immune system is sluggish and doesn't fight so well. The old fashioned "use it or lose it." So don't make yourself or your child crazy about staying away from those who are "a little sick". It may be healthier in the long run to be exposed to bacteria/viruses.

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answers from Tampa on

Interesting...never heard of it before. My research is confusing as well. Some say it's VERY contagious..others say it's contagious only if you touch an open wound. Most things I found say to wash your hands and sanitize them and you should be fine. Although doesn't sanitizing them set you up to be in the place of not be resistant to most germs? Recent studies says to much sanitizing makes you more susceptible to getting bugs :). It is all very confusing. As a mom it would be hard to let them play together, but you never know who is carrying this bug or any other bug. Your child comes into contact with millions of germs/bugs everyday. Everything I read today says many of us are carriers of the MRSA super bug, don't even know it, however they are resistant to it. Seeing as your husband is best friends with the child's parents, I don't see how you can avoid it. Thinking logically about it, I would let my child play with this child and just make sure if there are any open wounds that his bobos are covered and your child washes his hands frequently (which would be hard for me, as I don't believe in washing your hands frequently, because of the very reason ths MRSA bug has formed) GOOD LUCK!! Tough position to be in.



answers from Atlanta on

I know you have already gotten lots of replies but wanted to add my comment. I am a nurse in the Intensive Care Unit of a local hospital. If any one is admitted with a history of MRSA they are immediately isolated (gown and gloves to enter room) until they have 3 consecutive negative cultures. Every newly admitted patient has their nose swabbed for MRSA cultures.



answers from Dallas on

use epson salt and hot water to draw out any puss when the spots are painful and large



answers from Dallas on

I did not read fully through all of the myriad of responses - but just glancing..... You do not have to have an open sore to catch this. It is carried in the nasal passages. That is is why it is so prevalent at gyms - you work out, nose runs a bit, wipe it and there you go.
Your child and your families health comes first. I would never let my child play with someone that I know has MRSA
I have been in practice in dermatology for 14 years. I have seen it, one of the doctors in my practice caught it from a patient, then passed it to her family. I would not take any chances



answers from Tampa on

Hi A.,

It sounds like you are in a tough spot. If I were you I would call your pediatrician and follow his/her advice. The Doctor will either set your mind at ease or give you some good steps to follow. It will also help put things in perspective for your husband. Good Luck.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hello A.,

I just want to say I understand your concern with MRSA the new "super bug".
I contracted MRSA when I had a C-section with my youngest son in 2006.

It is a NASTY NASTY bug and spread VERY rapidly. Wihting 24 hours the abscess had increade 3 X's it's size ans had to be drainedinthe E.R.

From that point they put me on heavy duty antibiotics (Rifampin and Bactrum is the usual combo).

I have had 2 reoccurrence since then and my son is 2 1/2. the late one was caused by a bug bite on my neck.

As scary as this new "super bug" is the main thing to be aware of is to practice good hygeine. Just be careful with open cuts and wounds and wah thoroughly. But most importnatly if your Dr. or Ped. Perscribes antibiotics don't be afraid to ask "why" and "what the med is affective for"



answers from Lakeland on

Hi A.,
I had MRSA and since my recovery have made a very thouough study of it.
My first question is why do you think that he will have it fir the rest of his life? I suppose there are carriers but most either succomb from it or get over it.
The best ways to defend your Daughters from it are as you said good hand washing (sing Happy Birthday 2Xs while lathering) and keeping their immune system high. One way & one of the best is to take the supplements found at
MRSA comes from improper hygine (people and places). It is even out there in society right now. Do not use the antibacterial soapless hand cremes or gels as they are helping to cause super bugs like MRSA and MRSA does not repond to them.




answers from Austin on

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