How to Tell an Insect Bite From a MRSA


MRSA, or methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, is a serious staph infection that has been sharply increasing in frequency the last several years. It has grown more prevalent with widespread and unnecessary antibiotic use. People are prescribed antibiotics for viruses which will not help such illnesses.This creates a resistance to antibiotics in the future. Staph is a common organism found often on the skin and in the nose of people, but not necessarily making those individuals ill. Staph generally infects people through open wounds or breaks in the skin. The result at first can resemble an insect bite.

How to Tell an Insect Bite From MRSA

Determine if you saw an insect on your body. If you didn't, you should not assume it is a bite. The myth that if you have what appears to be a bite mark, it's a spider is just a myth. Spider bites are actually rare, and spider bites that cause a wound are rarer still. However, this is often the assumption made when a MRSA infection appears, as it closely resembles the marks left by a spider bite more than other insects bites.

Has the wound gotten worse after a couple days? A spider or an insect bite would improve.

If you are thinking the wound resembles that of a brown recluse spider, determine if you live in an area where the spider actually is commonly found. If it is not, do not suspect brown recluse in the wound.

Consider if you have other symptoms. Redness, swelling, warmth at the wound and possibly fever and flu-like symptoms are symptoms of MRSA.

Ask yourself some of these questions. They will help you determine if you are at risk for MRSA. Have you had an invasive medical procedure, surgery or feeding tube? Were you in the hospital recently? Have you gotten an injury recently? Do you live in a dorm, military barracks, attend a gym, or been in the hospital or a nursing home? Have you shared towels, shaving equipment, gym equipment, or been in close contact with someone who has MRSA?

Tips & Warnings

  • Never delay getting a diagnosis on a wound that seems infected. MRSA is a deadly illness that must be treated promptly. Assuming something is an insect bite and allowing the wound to worsen will only delay treatment.

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