MRSA. About 1 in 3 of us carries SA on the surface of our skin, or in our nose without developing an infection. This is known as being colonised by the bacteria

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MRSA (sometimes referred to as the superbug) stands for methicilin-resistent Staphylococcus aureus (SA).  SA is the bacterium from the Staphylococcus aureus family.  It was discovered in 1961 in the UK, it is now found worldwide.  (

The organism Staphylococcus aureus is found on many individuals skin and seems to cause no major problems.  However, if it gets inside the body, for instance under the skin or in the body or into the lungs, it can cause important infections such as boils or pneumonia.  Individuals who carry this organism are usually totally healthy, have no problems whatever and are considered simply to be carriers of the organism.  

About 1 in 3 of us carries SA on the surface of our skin, or in our nose without developing an infection.  This is known as being colonised by the bacteria.  However in addition to the boils and pneumonia, you call also contract impetigo, if they get into the bloodstream they can cause more serious infections.  (

The term MRSA or methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus is used to describe those examples of this organism that are resistant to commonly used antibiotics.  Methicillin was an antibiotic used many years ago to treat patients with Staphylococcus aureus infections.  Today it is no longer used except as a means of identifying this particular type of antibiotic resistance.  (Hernan, M, D & Chang, R 2006)

MRSA is no more infectious than other types of SA bacteria.  However, MRSA infections are more difficult to treat due to the antibiotic resistance of the bacteria, Antibiotics can still be used to treat the MRSA- the infection may simply require a much higher dose over a much longer period, or use of an antibiotic to which the bacteria is not resistant.  

MRSA is viewed today as a current topic and is often associated with patients in hospitals as they often have an entry point for the bacteria to get in such as a surgical wound or intravenous tubing, but it can also be found in patients not in hospital.  

Usually it is not necessary to do anything about MRSA organisms.  However if MRSA organism are passed on to someone who is already ill, then a more serious infection may occur in that individual.  When it is discovered a patient in hospital has MRSA, the hospital should try to prevent it from being passed around to other patients.  This is known as infection control.  (Hernan, M, D & Chang, R 2006)

The number of antibiotic resistant bacteria has increased in recent years due to people not finishing the full course of antibiotics they have been prescribed, which allows some bacteria to survive, develop a resistance to the antibiotic and then multiply and also antibiotics being over used, which has allowed bacteria to develop resistance to a wide range of antibiotics.

As well as being spread through person to person contact, MRSA can also be spread through contact with sheets, towels, clothes dressings or other objects or surfaces such as door handles, sinks floors and cleaning equipment.  (Hausler, T 2007)

Some people are more at risk of contracting MRSA such as those with a weakened immune system such as the elderly, newborn babies, diabetes or HIV/Aids sufferers, those who have a catheter, burnt or cut skin, recently had surgery or those who have to take frequent courses of antibiotics.  (Shnayerson, M & Plotkin, M, J 2003)  

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In the past decade or so the number of MRSA infections in the United States has increased significantly.  A report in 2007 by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), estimated that the number of MRSA infections treated in hospitals doubles nationwide, from approximately 127,000 in 1999 to 278,000 in 2005, while at the same time deaths increased from11, 000 to more than 17,000.

Another study led by the CDC and published in the October 17, 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association estimated that MRSA would have been responsible for 94,360 serious infections and ...

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It was not clear what the purpose of the essay was. The reader should quickly get a sense of what the writer intends to achieve, hence the importance of a clear introduction. Upon reading the work, I did get a good sense that the writer had done a lot of research into MRSA: what it is, how it is transmitted and how it survives. If the the work was intended as a fact sheet, then the aim has been achieved. The writing style was good overall. 4/5