Jay Dolitsky MD FAAP Ped ENT Clinical Associate Professor of Otolaryngology NEW York Medical College ENTandALLERGY.com
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Male: It is in the News, MRSA, can you look at a kid and see his nose and know the kid has it? Dr. Dolitsky: No, but MRSA is not something all that new. It is new in that we are starting to see it in a very, very few cases outside the hospital. MRSA which stands for Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus. Staph aureus is a certain bacteria that is commonly found. Most of the time it can be treated with a variety of penicillin-like drugs. One of which is called Methicillin. So we have one that is resistant to Methicillin. It is a great concern. There are antibiotics that can clear it but it is not going to be the routine antibiotic in the hospital, because we see a higher incidence of resistant such bacteria whether it be staph or other bacteria as well. We are always thinking about it and culturing for it and taking note of it. In the general population we have not been seeing it until recently and even now we are only seeing very few cases. You cannot tell just by looking at the patient. You have to suspect it and the only way you would suspect it is if you see someone has some form of infection, it could be a skin infection, it could be a mucus membrane infection but if that infection is not clearing and this thing should be set of any infection, if you give a child an antibiotic and they are not better within two to three days which is how long it takes for a normal oral antibiotic to kick in then you should advice that mother to contact you. And if they are not getting better whether it be MRSA or some other resistant form of infection, you need to see that child again where that child needs to be seen again in some emergency room to be evaluated for a resistant infection. So a child who is not responding appropriate to antibiotic, that is when you start thinking about it. The problem is when a parent is sent home with an antibiotic and it is not told that if your child does not respond for the next two to three days or gets worse before then to contact the physician. That is when trouble happens. Male: The best way of preventing it is washing of the hands. Dr. Dolitsky: Yes. Washing of the hands, covering the wounds and using common hygiene tips but the bottom line is, if a child has any form of infection, even if you don’t suspect it at first. If a child is not getting better, you must contact your physician within two or three days. If they are getting worse, then contact them soon.