How contagious is MRSA? Are you at risk?
While MRSA is contagious, the risk of catching it can be greatly increased or decreased by many factors as outlined below.
MRSA and Staph infections used to be most virulent in hospitals and healthcare facilities. However, these infectious bacteria are being found more often in the community. As this superbug continues to spread in the U.S. and abroad, you are likely exposed more often than you realize. The following Q&A’s will help you understand how and why is MRSA transmissible in both hospitals and the community:
- Is MRSA contagious after every exposure? Not necessarily. Just because you are exposed or touch someone with the infection doesn’t mean you will get it yourself. Also, the bacteria need to get inside your body to cause an infection. There are many factors that can come into play including: your age, medical conditions (like diabetes), stress level, amount of exposure, route of exposure, a history of recurring infections, medications that suppress your immunity and the strength of your immune system.
Roughly 30% of people carry Staph (and a smaller percent carry MRSA) bacteria on their skin and don’t even know it. They may never get infected and have no idea they carry it. These people are called “carriers”. Staph or MRSA carriers can transmit the bacteria to others who can then become infected.
Click here for activities that increase your risk for MRSA.
- How long does MRSA survive on surfaces? They can live for weeks on counter tops, door knobs, toys, furniture, sports equipment, TV remotes, and the list goes on. While alive, they can spread to people or pets from any contaminated surface. How long the bacteria can live depends largely upon the temperature and humidity levels.
- Is MRSA transferred through the air? Yes. These bacteria can pass through the air on dust and other particulates from those who are infected, or from carriers. It’s common for healthcare surfaces like railings, tables and counter tops to have MRSA bacteria on them, either from direct contact or from airborne MRSA. Your risk of becoming infected is increased by being close to infected people, which is most common in hospitals, nursing homes and in other healthcare facilities where these infections are more prevalent.
Diffusing medicinal essential oils has been shown to reduce MRSA in the air, and is one of the easiest ways to prevent airborne transfer of these bacteria.
- Why is MRSA transmitted mainly in healthcare facilities? Healthcare-Associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) is especially contagious in hospitals where it is spread from patient to patient. Healthcare facilities contain many sick people in close quarters, making an ideal breeding ground for infections. Open wounds, surgical contamination and doctors and nursing touching many different people make infections even easier to pick up.
Find out more about healthcare infections and how to prevent them on our new info-graphic page, answering the “who, what, when, where, why & how” questions about HA-MRSA.
- Is MRSA transmissible in the community? Yes. In the past, MRSA was solely found in hospitals as HA-MRSA. As the number of hospital infections increased, more and more people brought these bacteria into the community, creating Community-Associated MRSA (CA-MRSA). These bacteria are becoming a serious and growing problem in gyms, schools, prisons, on sports teams and other in other community settings. These infections can be infectious in most any setting where people are either infected or carrying the bacteria.
- How is MRSA spread? These bacteria can easily enter your body through the lungs, nose, mouth, open cuts on your skin, wounds and surgical sites. The bacteria are easily spreadable on your hands, in some body fluids, on clothing and laundry, on household surfaces and other objects and from direct contact with an infected person. It can also be transmitted to humans from pets (pets pick up the bacteria from humans).
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Washing your hands and cleaning your home are important… but not enough
Many common cleaning, washing and disinfecting products can actually cause more harm than good. And standard hygiene and infection control methods will NOT kill MRSA in the air you breathe.
If you’ve struggled with recurring infections, antimicrobial soaps and other common cleaners could be making your infection worse (read more on antibacterial soap dangers). Most standard cleaning and hygiene products are not strong enough to kill MRSA. Some of the most popular products may even cause antibiotic resistance and can weaken your immune system. Effective disinfectants will have a stated kill time for specific bacteria like MRSA or Staph aureus. Cleaning products with harsh chemicals can stress and weaken your defenses over time, making it harder to get rid of infections.
While proper hand washing is very important, it is crucial to learn how to protect yourself and your family from airborne MRSA. Some essential oils have been proven to greatly reduce Staph and other airborne bacteria when diffused into the air. Proper wound hygiene and keeping open wounds covered to protect others from catching the infection is also important. And there are many things you can do to boost your natural resistance to infections.
Controlling MRSA on multiple fronts
You can greatly reduce your risk of catching superbugs by protecting yourself on multiple fronts. The importance of consistent hand washing and good hygiene cannot be overstated as well as proper hygiene with cuts, scrapes and wounds. Taking steps to control bacteria in your laundry, on your pets and in the air is also crucial.
In the long run, one of the best things you can do is maintain and strengthen your own natural defenses and use alternative treatments that support your body, not tear it down.
Protect yourself and your family and keep MRSA out of your home
MRSA and Staph are serious and potentially life-threatening infections. Antibiotics and conventional medicine often fail against these superbugs. Fortunately, there are powerful natural and alternative remedies for handling these infections.
The MRSA Secrets Revealed Program contains Michelle’s 3-Step Infection-Free Method™, a complete how-to guide to naturally stop these infections. It includes the strongest remedies for skin, internal, nose and other types of infection. The program also includes ways you can protect yourself and your family in hospitals and in the community.