Table of Contents
Summary of Earth Clinic's MRSA Survey
Tabulating results from reader respondents on Earth Clinic between the survey's inception on 5/20/07 and 5/28/08.
|Number of Surveys Completed||
Note: Total responses will vary between categories due to partially completed Surveys and questions left blank.
Male or Female?
Was your cyst ever diagnosed by a medical doctor?
If yes, what was the diagnosis?
Boil 1246 39.39% MRSA 669 21.15% Staph Infection 632 19.98% Hidradentis Supperitiva (acne inversa) 90 2.85% Spider Bite 145 4.58% Other 381 12.05%
Was your boil or staph infection ever misdiagnosed by a medical doctor?
Yes, misdiagnosed as a Spider Bite 274 16.13% Yes, misdiagnosed as a Boil when it was, in fact, MRSA 329 19.36% Other 1096 64.51% Total 1699
Was it Raining or Snowing a day or two before you got your first boil?
No, it was clear 2516 46.98% Yes, it was raining 1599 29.86% Yes, it was snowing 354 6.61% Other 886 16.55% Total 5355
[Comment: Most respondents reporting 'Other' specified that they did not recall the weather a day or two before their first boil.]
What was your Diet the days leading up to your first boil? Were you eating differently than normal?
My diet was the same 3396 55.27% I was eating more sugar 706 11.49% I was eating more fat 394 6.41% I was eating more junk food 768 12.50% I was drinking or eating artificial sweeteners 430 7.00% Other 450 7.32% Total 6144
Did you injure or cut yourself outside shortly before the boil appeared?
No, I did not injure myself outside 4262 83.36% Yes, I injured myself outside 367 7.18% Other 484 9.47% Total 5113
Did the boil appear in an area that had previously been cut or injured?
Did you TRAVEL to any cities or countries recently?
If yes to TRAVEL, did your boil appear during your trip?
If yes to TRAVEL, how soon after your visit outside of your hometown did your boil appear?
Within 24 hours 127 12.88% 2 days 109 11.05% 3 days 76 7.71% 4 days 53 5.38% 1 week 182 18.46% Other 439 44.52% Total 986
[Comment: Most comments under 'Other' stipulated a time period greater than one week.]
Were you in a hospital or doctors office shortly before getting the first boil?
If yes, how soon after your visit to the doctor or hospital did the cyst appear?
Within 24 hours 110 8.49% 2 days 172 13.27% 3 days 95 7.33% 4 days 60 4.63% 5 days 76 5.86% 1 week 319 24.61% Other 464 35.80% Total 1296
[Comment: Most comments under 'Other' stipulated a time period greater than one week.]
Have you been around any soldiers returning from Afghanistan or Iraq?
If yes, how soon after did your boil appear?
Within 24 hours 20 5.76% 2 days 17 4.90% 3 days 6 1.73% 4 days 10 2.88% 5 days 9 2.59% 1 week 42 12.10% Other 243 70.03%
Was your immune system weakened prior to the staph infection? That is, were you fighting a viral or bacterial infection?
[Comment: For those who reported illnesses prior to the staph infection, the largest group identified sinus infections as the preceding condition, followed by cold and flu.]
"...the "spider bite" diagnosis has been very common in the county where I live. I know of at least 10 people who have been diagnosed/treated for "spider bites." Some have finally admitted that they have/had boils, while others continue to live in denial. Also (though not sure of the relevance), while surgeon was lancing boils in armpit recently, he revealed to me that there has been a local recent surge in boils/MRSA cases among the methamphetamine user (myself NOT being one) community in this area." (24 May, 2007 - Ellenboro, North Carolina)
"Nothing the regular M.D.'s did or prescribed helped my condition. Eventually I was covered in boils that weaked my skin and it turned into a runny, crusty mess that looked like poison ivey in it's worst state. Skin deteriorated to point in places had what looked like bed sores and was worried about losing a limb. Became so tired and run down I could hardly get out of bed. M.D.'s were administering antibiotics and steroids by I.V., orally and topically to no avail. Changed diet -- no gluten, no cabonated drinks, and began taking Turmeric and drinking reverse osmosis water. Skin is now clear except for some very small "pimple" eruptions every once in awhile." (24 May, 2007 - Fayetteville, North Carolina)
"Each time I get a viral infection, flu symtoms, within a week a boil or boils appears with warts appearing also." (25 May, 2007 - Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania)
" i think my boil has some thing to do with my hormones. It gets bigger at the time of my periods." (08 Jun, 2007 - United Kingdom)
"I first got MRSA After going to a mens dance club.The doctors at the time were not understanding mrsa like they do now.However i have had it 8x in the last year. Sometimes extreme boils on my torso, and arms. They always treat with clindamyicin and bactrum, recently was given Bactroban for my nose, but now seems to have out smarted that, and is becoming more frequent. NOTE: I always seem to get it much worse in the early summer months,however San Francisco is colder and wet because of fog this time of year..So the theory on precipitation may be very true." (09 Jun, 2007 - California)
"The doctor that I went to said he has treated an unusually high number of patients with staph recently. At the time my staph/boil appeared, it had been raining almost daily. I wonder if all the bacteria is residue from Hurricane Katrina." (11 Jun, 2007 - Louisiana)
"I have answered this survey for my fiance, but I would also like to mention that my daughter's boyfriend (16), contacted MRSA, about 2 mts. or so ago (maybe April). He is a very clean, well groomed person, as is my fiance. When I expressed my concern to my daughter's doctor, she asked if the boyfriend played sports (yes, he does), and she said she was seeing it a lot more, in children that play sports. He only had one cyst/boil, on his stomach, but my fiance ended up with many of them, horribly scary and painful. The doctor's have told us that a person would have to come in direct contact w/ the actual fluid (?) that comes from the boils. That doesn't sound so, at all." (13 Jun, 2007 - West Virginia)
"My brother was diagnosed with MRSA after his entire Naval Ship came down with it while stationed in Hawaii. He was misdiagnosed for several months. This was in 2005. I was pregnant when he came home in December of 2005 and in January I came down with my first abcess. When I went to the OB he had no idea what MRSA was... I basically educated him. I had myself tested with nose swabs and blood test and this was only after several months of boil after boil. Under my arm, in the groin area... on my butt. Finally went to a different OB... the 5th boil I had waited to see if it would come to a head and drain on its own.... by the time I went to the doctor, she said it was the worst abcess that she had ever seen. It took lancing it and draining for 1hr at the doctors office and then still drained for 3-4 days later. I had my c-section on June 2, 2006 and immediately after I felt fine... until about one week after then I started having alot of drainage from the incision ALOT... went back to the Dr. he said no problem, no infection... One month and 4 ER visits later I was started on high doses of antiboitic for another staph infection and had to quit breastfeeding... but still was never diagnosed with MRSA. Then my husband started getting them... He ended up in the hospital for 1 week and had to have a 1 1/2 inch cut on his leg to drain the boil... This was January 2007. He had approx. 4 boils and 2 of them ended him in the hospital. We have spent so much money with the doctors and hospitals and medicine that didn't work... only to have to educate ourselves because it seems as if NO ONE KNOW ABOUT STAPH OR MRSA. We spent aoubt $700 in copays alone in NOV. and in DEC. about $500. We are finally living boil and staph free so far... We took the bactraban nasal antibiotic for 5 days on 5 days off for 4 weeks and we wash at least once a week with hipocleanse soap in the shower. I also give my children baths with a cap full of bleach in it at least 2 times a week. I feel like from our experience that I should be working in the infectious disease field. I hope I helped... I know I am a little long winded but it has been a long ordeal." (Kelly Tarpeo, 14 Jun, 2007 - Missouri)
"Me and my whole family have had bouts of this several different times.And the rain theory makes sense to me because we pay attention more and we usually get one after it rains. My youngest son has not gotten it yet but I believe it's becuase hes always in a infant car seat covered by a blanket. And we live very close to 2 different airports. I've also talked with neighbors who have had it.And more and more people are getting it." (15 Jun, 2007 - Washington)
"i train in mix martial arts and i'm the fith person in 1 month at the gym where i train to get this. i'm still waiting on lab results, but it was confirmed mrsa with at least one of the other guys." (21 Jun, 2007 - North Carolina)
"I live in Plaquemines Parish Louisiana. We have had terrible breakouts of MRSA since Hurricane Katrina. Not only myself, but my daughter carries the staph. I am currently on Doxycyclinne, but am getting ready to try the Trumeric treatment. I pray it works." (07 Jul, 2007 - Louisiana)
"I've recently moved out of the city and stopped eating so much fast food (mcdonalds) my boils have since subsided and I attribute it to the lack of pollution in my former city. when my boil was lanced the doc mentioned to me the recent rise in this problem in my area." (16 Aug, 2007 - Virginia)
"I had flu like symtoms like about 3 days before the boil appeared." (23 Aug, 2007 - Oregon)
"this hurts like hell.... It rained here for the first time pretty much all summer." (26 Aug, 2007 - New York)
"I had 2 bouts with cellulitis above the eyebrow within 4 months. both were trips to the ER where antibiotics were prescribed. (cipro) In dec 2006 I was hospitalized and nearly lost my leg to MRSA. I have reoccurrences every month around the time of menstruation. My daughter has followed a similar fate. she is only 4 and has been hospitaized also. thank god i knew the signs!!! Since then we have reconstructed our lives to include anti bacterial everything and separate everything. my son has never had an incident that hasn't cured itself. (thank god) this bacteria has caused an enormous amount of stress in our lives. I check my children daily for unexplained "bug bites." My daughter and I have been submitted for study due to the unusual circumstances surrounding our history with mrsa. she at women's and children's hospital of buffalo(infectious disease clinic) and myself with dr. matthew antalek d.o.(infectious disease specialist)neither places can give me answers and are very upfront about the fact there's not much to know. one thing i would like to add- i am a third year nursing student who is scared to death i will transmit mrsa or my strain will mutate and all the iv s in the world won't help. Yes, ive had iv therapy for mrsa!" (06 Sep, 2007 - New York)
"Very important, Tanning beds and salons! I feel 100% sure I contracted my MRSA in one of these salons. I will not visit another! I believe that tools and beds are not cleaned effeciently! Who knows where those last toes and naked body has been! I think questions of this nature are as important as those about rain, snow... Your theory is interesting though...." (03 Jun, 2007 - Mississippi)
"MRSA seems (to me anyway) to be tied in to lowered immune systems - though I am mainly healthy, it seemed to first impact me when I neglected my diet, and now it flairs up in times of stress." (23 Jul, 2007 - California)
"I think I got it from the jail I work in. There has been an outbreak there from inmates as well as a co-worker of mine along with myself. Both my daughter and my co-workers daughter have start getting boils since myself and my co-worker have been getting them." (12 Aug, 2007 - North Dakota)
Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.