As a sophomore in college, I contracted MRSA. It began with a small bump on my thigh. I assumed it was just a spider bite and ignored it until my thigh began to ache. The bump grew and turned partly white and I decided to see a doctor.
The doctor inspected the bump closely and discovered spots where the infection had spread that I hadn’t even noticed. He diagnosed me with Staphylococcus. Usually, a physician will swab and test the infection site to determine the strain of Staph. In my case, I was immediately treated as a MRSA patient due to the threat of outbreak on a college campus.
I was prescribed three antibiotic application methods:
Antibacterial Wash: Hibiclens
Everyday I showered and washed my entire body with Hibiclens. This helped prevent the infection from spreading to other sites on my skin.
Antibiotic Ointment: Mupirocin I kept the infection sites covered with ointment and bandages that I reapplied 2 -3 times daily.
Oral Antibiotics: Bactrim
I took Bactrim consistently for 10 days to kill the infection.
Prevent Spreading: MRSA is highly infectious and dangerous on college campuses, where students live in close quarters. There are several ways to prevent spreading it to others.
Wash your clothes after each and every wear: As a college student, I was apt to re-wear clothing several times before washing to cut back on laundry. With MRSA, as soon as I removed an item of clothing it when into a plastic trash bag and was washed as soon as possible.
Wash your bedding every other day: I burned through my collection of quarters for the laundromat, but it was worth it when the infection stay contained to one thigh and my roommate remained Staph-free.
Clean your surroundings often: Once a day, I wiped down the surfaces in my room with disinfectant. MRSA spreads easily through skin contact, so make sure the things you touch daily are cleaned often.
Maintain personal space: I love my friends and family, too, but for a little while I had to hold them at arm’s length for their own good.
Since my experience, I wash more hands more often and keep my personal items to myself. Maintaining a personal bubble as a college student is tough, but if it keeps me MRSA-free, I am willing to make the effort.