MRSA, Symptoms and Prevention

MRSA, Symptoms and Prevention

MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) is a type of bacteria resistant to several widely used antibiotics such as penicillin and methicillin. It is considered as a superbug and can be difficult to treat.

How did MRSA become resistant?

Originally, Staphylococcus infections were sensitive to penicillin. MRSA first appeared in the 1960s. The misuse and overuse of antibiotics and vaccines caused some strains of staphylococcus to become resistant to penicillin and methicillin. Several reasons can make bacteria resistant:

–          Patients press doctor for medication to help them overcome their cold and other minor illnesses. Thus, doctors prescribe antibiotics to patients when it isn’t completely necessary, for example for viral infections like the common cold when the drugs only work on bacterial infections.

–          People tend to stop treatments when symptoms are fading. Germs aren’t all eliminated and the remaining one becomes stronger and resistant.

–          Some people also flushed the remainder of antibiotics in the toilet. The drugs reach water supply where germs are able to evolve and refine their ability to outsmart these medications.

How can you get MRSA?

You can carry the bacteria on your skin or in your nose without having any symptoms of the illness. MRSA is spread by contact. Touching the skin of another person who has MRSA or touching a contaminated surface and then touching your face can infect you. MRSA can also make you sick by entering your body through an open cut or wound.


The symptoms of MRSA depend on where you are infected. In most cases, it causes mild infections on the skin. The infected area on the skin can become red, swollen, and painful and can even have pus. You can then get fever.  MRSA can also cause more serious skin infections or infect surgical wounds, the lungs, the bloodstream or the urinary tract.

Who is at risk?

Everyone can get MRSA but staying in hospital can put your more at risk. People who have a surgical wound or intravenous, or the one who are hospitalized for a prolonged period of time are more likely to be infected. People with a weakened immune system due to a medical condition or who take antibiotics are also at risk.

How to prevent getting MRSA?

To prevent the spread of MRSA, keep your hands clean by washing them thoroughly with soap and water during at least 15 seconds and thoroughly dry them. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if water and soap aren’t available. In hospital, hands or gloves may become contaminated with MRSA when healthcare workers touch a patient and then spread the superbug from one patient to another. Healthcare providers should wash their hands before and after touching a patient and change gloves between patients.

Cover your cuts and scrapes with a bandage and keep them clean and dry. Avoid touching other people’s wounds or bandages.

Avoid sharing personal items such as clothes, towels and razors. Other items that should not be shared include brushes and makeup.

Use a tissue to cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing and throw it after. You can also sneeze or cough in your inner elbow to avoid spray of saliva and secretions and contaminating your hands.

Disinfect surfaces such as doorknobs, phones, computer keyboards to avoid cross contamination.

What can you do to prevent the development of MRSA?

The misuse and overuse of antibiotics created superbugs like MRSA. Use antibiotics safely and in the right condition.

Antibiotics should only be used against bacterial infections. they aren’t effective for viral infections such as a cold or flu. Don’t take antibiotics without a prescription as they might not be the appropriate choice for your condition or may not have any effect.

Follow your doctor’s instructions when you are prescribed an antibiotic and don’t stop the treatment earlier than expected.


CDC. 2013. General Information About MRSA in the Community. [ONLINE] Available at:

MayoClinic. 2015. MRSA infection. [ONLINE] Available at:

WebMd. 2015. Understanding MRSA Infection — the Basics. [ONLINE] Available at:

NHS. 2015. Symptoms of an MRSA infection . [ONLINE] Available at:

How to protect your baby against germs? [infographic]

How to protect your baby against germs? [infographic]

Children catch between six to ten colds per year. When you have an infant, keeping him away from illnesses is hard. Children under 3 months are especially vulnerable, parents should be very careful to protect their babies during this period. Germs are everywhere and you can’t completely avoid them. As a parent, it’s easy to get stressed out and worried. Even though your baby will be sick at some point, you can follow some tips to reduce the risks.

How to sanitize your hands?

How to sanitize your hands?

Using Hand Sanitizers keep your hands germ free!

We recommend the following Hand Sanitizing Steps prescribed by World Health Organization (WHO).

Duration of entire procedure – 20-30 seconds.

Note: If hands are visibly soiled, they should be washed with soap and water before applying Hand Sanitizers

Zika Virus, Symptoms, Prevention

Zika Virus, Symptoms, Prevention

Zika virus is now becoming a matter of concern as more and more people are getting infected all around the world.

The virus is spread to people by mosquitoes from the Aedes species. These mosquitoes also transfer diseases like dengue and chikungunya. Mosquitoes can give the virus by biting someone already infected and then biting other people.

The word Zika comes from the Zika forest in Uganda, where the virus was first discovered by scientists in 1947. Before 2015, Zika virus outbreaks only occurred in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. In May 2015, the virus reached Brazil and is now spreading to many other countries.

For the moment, the virus has not really spread in Asia. There have only been a few cases reported in Thailand and Taiwan. But, as people travel a lot, it is easy for a virus to spread around. For the moment, no cases have been found in Singapore but the virus will probably reach the island in no time. The Ministry of Health (MOH) is following the situation closely and is taking precaution measures to avoid any huge outbreaks.


The symptoms of the Zika virus are similar to chikungunya and dengue. The symptoms are:

–          fever

–          rash

–          joint pain

–          conjunctivitis.

Not every person infected will develop symptoms, about 1 in 5 people will actually become ill. The illness lasts from a few days to a week and is usually mild but if a woman is infected during pregnancy, it can cause a neurological disorder, microcephaly, to the unborn baby. The infant’s head will then be significantly smaller than the one of other infants and his brain won’t develop as much as the one of the others.


There is no vaccine available against the Zika virus.

To avoid getting infected, protect yourself against mosquitoes by using insect repellent. Cover your body, arms and legs with clothing and sleep under mosquito nets.

Aedes mosquitoes usually lay eggs in and near standing water in buckets, bowls, flower pots. You can reduce their breeding by ensuring that there is not stagnant water in and outside your house.


WHO. 2016. Zika virus. [ONLINE] Available at:

CDC. 2016. About Zika Virus Disease. [ONLINE] Available at:

MOH. 2016. Zika Virus. [ONLINE] Available at:

How to stop the spread of germs in school?

How to stop the spread of germs in school?

 Like many public places, germs are thriving in schools. The close interaction between kids makes it easy for germs to spread among them. Once one kid is sick, you don’t have to wait long until many other fall sick too, leading to absenteeism from the students and teachers. Kids, especially the smaller one may not be aware of germs and may not know the right hygiene practices. The school has then a role to play and can reduce the spread of germs to ensure a safe environment for everyone and reduce absenteeism.

Phone Facts

Phone Facts

Our phones are an essential accessory in our life. We use and carry them all day long, bring them everywhere even in the most intimate places. According to a street survey conducted by a local University, it was found that 9 out of 10 people use their smartphone in the restroom.

Phones are a hotspot for germs and can harbour 25 000 germs per square inch. Regularly cleaning them can reduce the risk of getting sick.

Below are recommended cleaning tips for your phone:

–          Frequently remove fingerprints and grease from the screen with a microfiber cloth.

–          Once a week, turn off your mobile phone and put some alcohol-free disinfectant on a soft cloth to wipe your phone and its case clean.  Dry it off immediately with a soft cloth.

–          Avoid taking your phone to the restroom and regularly wash your hands with soap and water. Cleaner hands mean a cleaner phone.


Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials. 2009. Are we aware how contaminated our mobile phones with nosocomial pathogens? [ONLINE] Available at:

Hindustan Times. 2013. Germs are often a phone call away. [ONLINE] Available at:

Asia One. 2016. 90% Singaporeans use their smartphones in the toilet, but only 10% clean them. [ONLINE] Available at: