Recently, doctors have discovered that Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) can be passed from pets to humans and back to pets again. Do you feel like kissing your kitty now? Your pet is always exposing you to bacteria from its litter box or your backyard, but it’s important to take safety and hygienic precautions to avoid the superbug MRSA.
What is MRSA? You probably know MRSA better as a staph infection, and since it’s resistant to common antibiotics, it can be fatal. MRSA infections often happen in hospitals and nursing homes, but if you have a weakened immune system, you have more of a chance of catching it in any setting. According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of MRSA include red bumps or deep abscesses on the skin. However, the infection can be localized inside of your body in places such as your bones, joints heart, etc.
Ohio State University researchers conducted a study and found that 5.7 percent of the dog’s in their veterinary hospital carried MRSA. So how can you protect yourself and your family? First and foremost, don’t give up your pet simply because of this new finding. Second, instate a new protocol for your family. For instance, make it a rule for everyone to wash his/her hands after touching the pet. Also, if you have wounds on your hands, always cover them up with bandages before petting your cat or dog.
Simple hygienic practices will lessen your chances of contracting the superbug MRSA from your pet. Plus, you have to keep in mind that your pet is more at risk for catching the bacteria. If you develop an infected wound, seek medical advice and have it tested for MRSA. An infected wound will often present with redness, tenderness, pus and a fever. Just be sure that your doctor tests for MRSA before placing you on antibiotic therapy, because some antibiotics are unable to treat MRSA and can cause health issues if you’re on them for an extended period of time.