Q. How do I find out if I have been infected with MRSA?

Answered by
Dr. Muhammad Zubayer Alam
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 28, 2021

Hello doctor,

I am very concerned about contracting MRSA. I was in a public bathroom, and I washed my hands and absent-mindedly touched the public door handle, and later I washed my hands, after which I picked inside my dry, irritated nose. I know this is very unsanitary, and now I am concerned I may have gotten MRSA on my hands and put MRSA into my nose and into the blood vessels in my nose. This just happened two days ago. What symptoms should I watch for? Is there a blood test to see if MRSA got into my bloodstream from the blood vessels in my nose?



Welcome to

Thanks for the query.

I can understand your concern. Your statement is very much concerned about contracting MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) by picking your nose after touching the public toilet door handle. Clinical features of MRSA infection are painful lump filled with pus or a cluster of pus-filled blisters on the skin, rash or redness on the skin, pain and warmth at the infected area, and itching may present, fever, tachycardia, cough, skin infections like a boil, carbuncles, abscesses or cellulitis, etc. Usually, MRSA-associated complications may appear within 1 to 10 days after exposure. But, in asymptomatic cases, it may stay long without showing any clinical features. Usually, MRSA is diagnosed by checking a tissue sample or nasal swab after laboratory culturing where colonized MRSA are present in the culture. This process may take 2 to 3 days for detecting the presence of MRSA in the culture. But at present, rapid culturing methods can be applied by using PCR (polymerase chain reaction) methods. By using PCR, we can get the result within a short time. Again, a rapid MRSA blood test can give a result within two hours or so.

Take care.

In case of any other query, ask me.

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the response.

Do you know if it would be more likely to affect my nasal cavity only, or would it be more likely to enter the bloodstream from vessels in the nose and be a systemic problem?



Welcome back to

Thanks for joining again.

MRSA is known as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus infection, are a bacteria that can cause infections in different parts of the body. When MRSA enters into the bloodstream, it will produce clinical features and develop a systemic illness like fever, cough, and many more. The severity of MRSA infections depends on the quantity of presence of bacteria in the bloodstream. In the bloodstream, it may cause a rare systemic life-threatening condition known as staphylococcal shock syndrome, where the clinical features of shock may be found. Yes, it may affect your nose and may develop skin and soft tissue infections. Again it may affect different parts of your body other than the nose. It may affect your lungs or other organs of yours. I think you may go under the investigations that I have already mentioned earlier for detecting the presence of MRSA. If the results are negative, then there is nothing to be worried at all as you are free from MRSA. In case of becoming positive, your doctor will prescribe some antibiotics that are fully effective against MRSA and help to subside your MRSA infections related to all complications. So, do not be worried at all. I think your body immunity will protect you from being infected by MRSA because we unwillingly make some mistakes often like you. You are concerned about MRSA infection from that incident, but you are not MRSA infected as no investigations have been done or no presence of any clinical features. Next time, you become alert for washing your hands and not touching your nose or any part of your body without washing your hands, especially outside.

Take care.

I hope I have answered your questions.

Let me know if I can assist you further.

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