Mrs. Scott insisted she had been bitten by a spider as she caressed a deep ulcer on her right thigh.”
“Did you see the spider?” I asked.
“No, but it looks like a spider bite” she said.
When we got the wound culture report back, we realized it was not a spider bite, but a new strain of a drug-resistant staphylococcus (commonly called staph) infection that had caused the infection.
Staph bacteria often colonize the skin and nose and cause infections ranging from pimples, boils to life-threatening pneumonia. Until recently nearly all the resistant staph infections called MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus) occurred in the hospitals. Now patients like Mrs. Scott who had no contact with the healthcare setting are becoming ill with this resistant staph strain.
A recent study found that 17 percent of drug resistant staph infections have no link to healthcare setting. These new strains are called CA-MRSA or Community-acquired methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus.
The fact that staph infections have become more resistant only means we must use more powerful and expensive antibiotics to treat infections. Previously, staph infections were treated with penicillin and methicillin
The reason for such a rise in CA-MRSA is still a mystery, but may have to do with our oversuse of antibiotics. Preventing staph infections is easy and can go a long way -keep your hands clean, keep cuts and scrapes covered with a bandage, avoid contact with other’s wounds or bandages, and avoid sharing personal items like towels and razors.
Recurrent boils or skin infections are cause for concern, not for spider infestation in the house, but for infection with resistant organisms.