MRSA symptoms usually begin with small, red bumps that look like pimples or spider bites. These bumps may rapidly develop into painful abscesses, or the bacteria may spread from the skin into the body and cause life-threatening infections in the bloodstream, bones, joints, lungs or heart, reports Mayo Clinic.
Skin infections caused by MRSA appear red, swollen and are often pus-filled and painful. Generally, the infected lesion has a central head with a yellow or white center. Areas that have been cut or scratched are more likely to be infected, as are areas with increased body hair. Symptoms resulting from these infections include malaise, rash, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, fever, chills and headaches. MRSA can also produce urinary tract infections, sepsis and bone infections. MRSA symptoms are most commonly treated using antibiotics, says Healthline.
Many people with MRSA develop a staph infection that is often mistaken for a spider bite, and a staph infection may infect the lungs and cause pneumonia. Symptoms of MRSA-induced pneumonia include fever, shortness of breath, cough and chills. In rare cases, MRSA produces staph infections that develop into necrotizing fasciitis, or a flesh-eating bacterial infection, which is a serious infection that spreads very rapidly, states WebMD.