Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a spherical shaped bacteria that is found everywhere, and on your body. Over the past 50 years Staph bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics, including the commonly used penicillin-related antibiotics, which includes Methicillin. The resistant bacteria are called Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
The definition of “resistant”, means that what is resistant has the capacity to withstand, is immune to or impervious to something else. In this case the Staph bacteria causing MRSA is resistant to Methicillian, which is a commonly used penicillin-related antibiotic.
The antibiotic Methicillin is rarely used any more as it has been replaced by the antibiotic Vancomycin.
There is a saying that, “what ever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”. Well, that goes double for bacteria. What ever doesn’t kill the bacteria makes them resistant. When we wash with antibacterial soap and do not wash long enough or wash all the parts of our hands (fingers, thumbs, palms, tops, wrists) we miss bacteria which can now resist the antibacterial soap, or worse yet stay on our hands and be transferred to someone else’s hands and give them antibacterial resistant bacteria. Same thing happens when you do not take your entire antibiotic. The bottle is only half used, but you are feeling a lot better, so you stop taking it. This is a common mistake. Since you did not take all of your medicine, the bacteria have a chance to remain where they are and to grow stronger and to become resistant to the antibiotic. Now a germ is lingering in your body that is no longer resistant to that germ.
Overuse of antibiotic happens when it is prescribed for virus infections. Antibiotics are useless against virus infections. Often time’s doctors are pressured by parents to prescribe an antibiotic and the doctor does to make the parent feel like they are doing something to make the child feel well. When the truth is that time alone will make the child feel better. Parents should be educated as to why it is counter-productive to ask a doctor to prescribe an antibiotic for an illness that does not require an antibiotic to get well. Parents need to stop asking doctor’s to prescribe antibiotics when the doctor tells them that they are not needed. Doctor’s need to be strong and insist on not prescribing antibiotics when they are not needed. Education is the key to understanding the harm that can be caused when we overuse antibiotics.