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Difference Between CA-MRSA And HA-MRSA

What is the difference between CA-MRSA and HA-MRSA? The idea of a methicillin-resistant strain of staphylococcus aureus

is scary enough. Is there any need to be concerned about two entirely different strains of microbial resistant S. Aureus? A look at the CA and HA versions of this antibiotic-resistant staph infection, usually appearing as a skin lesion, pimple, or boil, will solve the mystery of the different types of M.R.S.A.

In the CA version of the staphylococcus infection, CA is an acronym for “Community-Associated.” That means that the Staph. Aureus bacterium that is immune to methicillin is related to groups of people who have not had a medical procedure or been hospitalized within the past year. Most of these staphylococcus infections occur in hospitals and nursing homes, where many people who are already sick are grouped together for long periods of time. Those people become more vulnerable to the Aureus bacillus that is resistant to methicillin or other antimicrobial drugs. Therefore the C.A. acronym is applied to this type of infectious staph.

In contrast, HA version of the antimicrobial-resisting staphylococcus bacteria means “Healthcare-Associated.” This group includes people who develop staph microbe skin infections that are resistant to methicillin-type antibacterial medications. As discussed above, the H.A. staph skin infections occur primarily in nursing homes and hospitals, where people with already weak immune systems are grouped together. If the Aureus “bug” begins to grow uncontrollably in this group of people, the infection is deemed to be HA, or related to healthcare.

You can calm down now, at least somewhat. As you can see, there are not two different types of the Aureus Staphylococcus infection! Rather, the CA and HA designations describe two different groups of people who may have become staph infected. If it is called HA, the person was caught the infection at a hospital, nursing home, or during surgery or other medical procedure (anything that is healthcare-associated). In the CA version, the staph bacterium was caught out in the community, without the person having had medical attention in the past year (e.g., community-associated).

It is important to take precautions and protect yourself against any type of bacterial illness and symptom. However, there are not two strains of the methicillin resistant staph skin infection. Talk to your doctor if you need to know more. The two-letter descriptions merely describe where the infection was contacted. Therefore the location of the affected people is the primary difference between CA-MRSA and HA-MRSA.

Copyright 2007 by Doug Smith. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Unauthorized Duplication Prohibited.


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