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Help, weird virus thingy....

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My co-worker has this weird thing. A while back, her boyfriend had what they thought was a huge spider bite and his whole arm turned red and he had to go on antibiotics. A few weeks later, my friend had one on her back and it got infected and she had to have it drained and go on antibiotics too. Now, about a month later her daughter had one, and they took her to the hospital and they had to surgically remove it. The core was like 2 inches down inside her thigh. They told her it was an airborne virus that lies dormant in the nose, and that's probably what they all had, and they have to put bacterial cream up their nose three times a day. The doctor didn't really explain to her what it was, and we are all kinda freaking out at work wondering if she's going to bring it to work for us... Has anyone heard anything like this?
post #2 of 13
Nope... sorry...I know that boils can look like that but I don't think that has anything to do with your sinuses.
post #3 of 13
That doesn't sound quite right.
The bite or whatever was on the arm, thigh and back and they are saying its a virus in the nose??????
What am I missing here. A virus does not bite you, and how does a virus cause something like this to begin with??
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I didn't understand it either, I guess you breathe it in and it lies in your nose, and then acts up in the form of abcesses....I know it sounds weird, that's why I wanted to ask around to see if the blank spaces could be filled in.
post #5 of 13
Hmmm....that is REALLY weird .... I hope you can find some answers tho!
post #6 of 13
Maybe some kind of staph infection thing
post #7 of 13
It sounds like it might be MRSA (methycillin resistant staph aureus). It does live in the nose (and another more private area). It's usually a hospital-acquired infection, though, so I don't know if that's what they have. It's incredibly hard to get rid of, and the antibiotic of choice is usually Vancomycin.

Pure conjecture on my part, though.
post #8 of 13
That is weird. Hope it is not something that will be passed around.
post #9 of 13
Sounds like staph. BTW, staph is a bacteria, not a virus, hence the antibiotic treatment. Antibiotics are more or less useless against viruses, unfortunately. Good hand-washing, etc., can reduce the likelihood that staph will be spread to other people. Believe it or not, it can also be spread to your pets too.

There's no way of knowing whether this was methicillin-resistant staph unless it was cultured out. IV antibiotics often become necessary for MRSA, but it doesn't sound like this was the case for your co-worker - so maybe it was a more ordinary strain of staph?

The info here comes from the CDC Web site:

Staphylococcus aureus, often referred to simply as "staph," are bacteria commonly carried on the skin or in the nose of healthy people. Approximately 25% to 30% of the population is colonized (when bacteria are present, but not causing an infection) in the nose with staph bacteria. Sometimes, staph can cause an infection. Staph bacteria are one of the most common causes of skin infections in the United States. Most of these skin infections are minor (such as pimples and boils) and can be treated without antibiotics (also known as antimicrobials or antibacterials). However, staph bacteria also can cause serious infections (such as surgical wound infections, bloodstream infections, and pneumonia).

What is MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)?
Some staph bacteria are resistant to antibiotics. MRSA is a type of staph that is resistant to antibiotics called beta-lactams. Beta-lactam antibiotics include methicillin and other more common antibiotics such as oxacillin, penicillin and amoxicillin. While 25% to 30% of the population is colonized with staph, approximately 1% is colonized with MRSA.

Who gets staph or MRSA infections?
Staph infections, including MRSA, occur most frequently among persons in hospitals and healthcare facilities (such as nursing homes and dialysis centers) who have weakened immune systems. These healthcare-associated staph infections include surgical wound infections, urinary tract infections, bloodstream infections, and pneumonia.

What is community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA)?
Staph and MRSA can also cause illness in persons outside of hospitals and healthcare facilities. MRSA infections that are acquired by persons who have not been recently (within the past year) hospitalized or had a medical procedure (such as dialysis, surgery, catheters) are know as CA-MRSA infections. Staph or MRSA infections in the community are usually manifested as skin infections, such as pimples and boils, and occur in otherwise healthy people.

How common are staph and MRSA infections?
Staph bacteria are one of the most common causes of skin infection in the United States and are a common cause of pneumonia, surgical wound infections, and bloodstream infections. The majority of MRSA infections occur among patients in hospitals or other healthcare settings; however, it is becoming more common in the community setting. Data from a prospective study in 2003, suggests that 12% of clinical MRSA infections are community-associated, but this varies by geographic region and population.

What does a staph or MRSA infection look like?
Staph bacteria, including MRSA, can cause skin infections that may look like a pimple or boil and can be red, swollen, painful, or have pus or other drainage. More serious infections may cause pneumonia, bloodstream infections, or surgical wound infections.
post #10 of 13
Eewww - um, can you minimise your interaction with this coworker? How long is this contagious for?
post #11 of 13
Staph bacteria was my first thought, as well.
post #12 of 13
Whoa, that's umm, weird - ewww - hope you guys don't get it too.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, now today she said it's in the air you breathe, and anyone can get it at any time, can live there dormant for months, but it's not contagious. She thought it was yesterday because her whole family got it. They must have just been in the same place at the same time, wherever the virus was. They still can't give her a name for it...It's all really confusing but it's not contagious so I'm not gonna worry about it anymore! Weird though....
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