MRSA Infection During Pregnancy

Staphylococcus aureus (staph) is a type of bacteria normally found on the skin or in the nose of healthy people. If staph gets inside the body through a cut or sore, a serious infection can occur. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an infection that is hard to cure because it involves bacteria that have become resistant to the antibiotic medicines normally used to kill them. A staph infection can be mild and affect only the skin. However, if the infection goes deeper into the body, it can be very serious.

Healthcare-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) infections occur in hospitals, healthcare facilities, and nursing homes and are usually more severe. Community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) usually causes skin infections but can develop into a more serious illness.

PREGNANT WOMEN WITH MRSA

  • Pregnant women can be a carrier of MRSA bacteria and not have an infection. If no infection is present in the woman, there is no risk to the baby.

  • If a pregnant woman has a MRSA infection, there is a small chance of passing the infection to the baby during a vaginal delivery.

  • It does not appear that there is an increased risk of miscarriage or birth defects in pregnant women who are carriers of MRSA bacteria or who have an active infection.

CAUSES

A person can be "colonized" with MRSA. This means that the bacteria can be carried on the skin or in the nose, but no signs or symptoms of the illness are present. You can become colonized with MRSA in a variety of ways:

  • By touching the skin of another person who is colonized with MRSA.

  • Through contact with tiny droplets from breathing, coughing, or sneezing.

  • By touching a contaminated surface (such as a countertop, door handle, or phone).

You can develop an infection from MRSA if your skin is colonized and the bacteria enter an opening (cut, scrape, or wound) in the skin. MRSA is spread though direct contact, not through the air.

SYMPTOMS

  • A pimple with yellowish-white fluid (pus) in it.

  • A fluid-filled sac (boil) on the skin.

  • Pus draining from the skin.

  • A fluid-filled area (abscess) under the skin or somewhere in your body.

  • Fever with or without chills.

DIAGNOSIS

  • A physical exam may be performed.

  • If a skin infection is present, the infection can be tested for MRSA with a culture.

  • If an infection of the lung, bone, joint, or other internal area is present, blood tests and imaging studies (X-ray, CT scan, or echocardiogram) may be performed.

Finding out the results of your test

Ask when your test results will be ready. Make sure you get your test results.

TREATMENT

  • Antibiotics are given that are not resistant to the staph bacteria.

  • The pimple, boil, or abscess may be drained or cut.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Take your antibiotics as directed. Finish them even if you start to feel better.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water. Do this especially after using the restroom, changing diapers, handling money, and right after leaving public places.

  • Avoid people known to have a MRSA infection.

  • Do not come in contact with people with sores and bandages that protect sores.

  • Clean cuts and scrapes thoroughly. Cover them with a bandage.

  • Do not try to drain a boil or pimple on your own. This could worsen the infection.

  • Do not share towels, soaps, razors, and other personal items with people.

  • Wash your laundry separately from the rest of the household.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You have a pimple with pus in it.

  • You have a boil on the skin.

  • You have pus draining from the skin.

  • You have an abscess under the skin or somewhere in your body.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

You have a fever.