Jon Moxley is a lucky man to be alive, after being infected with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA as it is commonly known. The infection to his elbow had put this athlete and actor out of action for quite some time. The American professional wrestler and actor was at the peak of his health and was already a big name on the professional circuit of wrestling including the WWE.
It just goes to show that no matter how fit and healthy you are we are all susceptible to infection and can have life-threatening consequences. Whilst most sports are relatively harmless martial arts and wrestling are obviously not. But with the chances of injury being high, you can take precautions to avoid infections such as MRSA. By using a martial arts soap that is dedicated to helping you to avoid infection after a fight or match or being used before it can help to protect your skin after the often brutal rounds you endure.
What is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus?
MRSA is an infection that has become resistant to many of the antibiotics we have in use today. The staph infection is mostly picked up in hospitals or healthcare centers, nursing homes and dialysis centers are unfortunately where the majority of infections come from. As was the case with Jon Moxley, after being treated at a Japanese hospital for his elbow injury sustained during a match.
There are other strains of this largely antibiotic infection and can easily be transmitted to somebody by the failure of washing the hands or skin to skin contact. High school wrestlers, teachers, care workers dealing with children, and people living in a crowded environment are all vulnerable to staph infections.
How to Detect the Symptoms of an Infection
Staph infections will generally start to appear in wounds between 1 to 10 days and the signs of infection will soon become apparent, these include:
- Pus or other draining of the wound
- Warm to touch and redness around the wound and swollen.
- Often a fever is present
Looking similar to pimples or sometimes spider bites they can quickly start to turn to painful boils (abscesses), whilst most infections are confined to the skin and the area which you received the infection it can enter your bloodstream, joints, bones, lungs, and heart valves, potentially causing a life-threatening condition. If you are concerned you should seek medical help immediately.
We Were Warned
Modern antibiotics have become something many reach for or are prescribed all too willingly. For some time now doctors and government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned us that by taking to many antibiotics that certain diseases are becoming more resistant to the medicine we take, when often they are not necessary and the healing process whether it is for a minor cut or burn we should let nature take its course. With the help of specialized soaps and iodine for example we can aid the recovery of our wounds without resorting to antibiotics.
Taking antibiotics has become a normal procedure for cold, flu, or viral infections. All this is doing is making your body more resistant to antibiotics and will have no effect on a virus, doing more harm than good.
Ways in Which to Help Prevent Infection
Hospitals and other health care centers often isolate patients with MRSA conditions to help to prevent contamination to other patients and nurses and doctors alike. A strict hygiene regime is put in practice to help avoid others from contact with the patient. Using surgical gloves and other clothing is essential to help the spread of MRSA. Washing hands regularly is paramount in controlling the infection and the use of specialized soaps and hand sanitizers before seeing any other patient is essential. Here are some of the measures that can help you prevent the spread of infection and avoid being infected:
- Showering after physical activity with soap and water will help to cleanse your body and any potential wounds you may have.
- Sanitizing any item that may have come in contact with a wound, using a washing machine set at the highest temperature possible then use a dryer, be careful not to mix your gym or athletics clothes with your regular wash. If possible use bleach also.
- Personal items should be just that, avoid sharing towels, razors, and clothing with other people. Infection is not just transmitted through skin on skin contact.
- Keep any wounds you may have incurred clean and covered with fresh gauze or bandages.
- Washing your hands is the best way to help the spread of infection. Washing your hands for 20-25 seconds with soap and warm water will help. Also, carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer just in case you have no access to washing facilities.
The Treatment for MRSA
Whilst previously mentioned the overuse of antibiotics has made Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus hard to treat, all is not lost. There are treatments available including emergency surgery to drain small boils (abscesses) and certain antibiotics still have a rate of success against the infection. Depending on the area and organ which is infected a consultation may be required first to establish any underlying conditions which you may have. Often this involves a dermatologist or a cardiologist. Before any appointment is made it is important to write a list of:
- Any medication you are currently taking or may be allergic to.
- Inform the doctor of any previous medical conditions you have had.
- Any medical issues your siblings or parents may have had.
- Dietary supplements you may be taking.
- A list of any questions you feel is appropriate to ask your doctor.
Usually, before treatment begins a sample of the infected tissue or any liquid that is weeping from the wound and sent for analysis to establish the best form of treatment. A blood sample may also be taken and for more serious cases when the infection has entered the joint and bones an x-ray or computed tomography (ct scan) may be deemed necessary along with an echocardiogram.
How Easy is it to get Infected?
Fortunately, it is not as infectious as many other bacteria. It is thought that over 5% of patients carry Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA in hospitals alone, which is where most infections occur. MRSA is carried by the nasal passages but is usually not a serious problem for most people. Even the carriers of MRSA are not aware that they have the infection in their system.
Not everybody gets sick or feels any symptoms but can still transmit it to others but this is rare.
Jon Moxley was lucky to have been diagnosed and treated when he was, whilst having to take a timeout from his career potentially saving his arm and his life. Many more people do succumb to the complications that can arise from Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. By following strict hygiene protocols in our day to day life and during sporting activities we can help to avoid infection and avoid infecting others.