Common symptoms of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, include swelling, pain, redness, warmth when touched and pus in a skin infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The infection may start as a boil or abscess. The infection may also begin in a wound.
Identifying the symptoms early is essential to treatment. The infection is often resistant to antibiotics, making it difficult to treat. MRSA may be mistaken as a simple boil or as a spider bite, states the CDC. Patients should suspect MRSA rather than a spider bite if no spider was actually seen.
Certain areas of the body have an increased risk for MRSA. This includes any areas with scrapes, cuts and open wounds. Areas with hair where clothes, uniforms or sporting equipment rub may also increase the risk of MRSA due to the irritation, according to the CDC. Individuals should watch those areas in particular when identifying MRSA symptoms.
MRSA is caused by a bacteria, which can stay in the skin or go deeper into the body, says Mayo Clinic. If the infection spreads, it can reach the bones, joints, heart and lungs, with potentially life-threatening effects. Fast diagnosis of the symptoms allows the patient to receive treatment before the infection spreads to other parts of the body.