MRSA Symptoms of Pneumonia

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, also called MRSA or antibiotic staff infection, may cause a variety of symptoms when pneumonia--a secondary infection--develops. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, staph infections are a common cause of pneumonia and are typically associated with flu or flu-like symptoms. Some flu-like symptoms are common, but a set of distinct symptoms may indicate that a serious and potentially life-threatening illness has developed.

MRSA may cause a variety of symptoms when pneumonia develops. (Image: Samo Trebizan/iStock/Getty Images)


More phlegm production may occur when MRSA causes pneumonia, especially if lung abscesses appear. Mucous changes color as the body fights off the infection. When the infection first appears, phlegm is clear, and as the body begins the fight to ward off the infection, phlegm turns yellow. When phlegm turns green, it is a healthy sign that the body is getting rid of the infectious bacteria and coughing up the phlegm can help remove some of the bacteria.


If a persistent cough and wheezing occurs when infected with MRSA, then the staph infection has affected the lungs and caused pneumonia. Other distinguishing symptoms include a relentless and deep cough and shortness of breath, called dyspnea. Sometimes natural breathing rhythms bring on bouts of wheezing and coughing, especially when inhaling air or taking deep breaths. The episodes of coughing occur more frequently and are more intense than the coughing symptoms associated with the flu or flu-like illnesses.


The body responds to the pneumonia by developing a fever. According to eMedTV website, a fever above 100.5 is an indication that pneumonia has developed in persons of otherwise good health. People with weakened immune systems may develop a temperature lower than normal. Chills may occur in response to the rise in body temperature, and hot flashes may occur in older persons or those with weakened immune systems in response to the decrease in body temperature.

Chest Pain

Chest pain occurs when pneumonia develops, as the lungs work harder to breathe. Additionally, chest muscles become sore from the persistent cough. The chest muscles may also ache from the lungs pushing up against the chest walls, an affect of the lungs working harder to breathe and expel the some of the infection in the lungs, along with the bacteria in the phlegm that may up from coughing.

Chest Pain

Other symptoms may occur when bacterial infections attack the body. The common symptoms also appear when infected with either condition and become more severe as a secondary infection develops. Symptoms include fatigue, headache, muscle aches, dizziness, vomiting, and diarrhea, among other common flu-like symptoms. Usually, the flu-like symptoms appear before the distinct symptoms of acquired pneumonia occur, such as severe symptoms affecting the upper respiratory system and the telltale temperature signs.

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