What is MRSA?
- Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to several antibiotics.
- In the general community, MRSA most often causes skin infections. In some cases, it causes pneumonia (lung infection) and other issues.
- If left untreated, MRSA infections can become severe and cause sepsis – a life-threatening reaction to severe infection in the body.
Who is at risk?
Anyone can get MRSA on their body from contact with an infected wound or by sharing personal items, such as towels or razors, that have touched infected skin.
How is MRSA spread?
MRSA infection risk can be increased when a person is in activities or places that involve crowding, skin-to-skin contact, and shared equipment or supplies. People including athletes, daycare and school students, military personnel in barracks, and those who recently received inpatient medical care are at higher risk.
Sometimes, people with MRSA skin infections first think they have a spider bite. However, unless a spider is actually seen, the irritation is likely not a spider bite. Most staph skin infections, including MRSA, appear as a bump or infected area on the skin that might be:
- Warm to the touch
- Full of pus or other drainage
- Accompanied by a fever
- Cover your wounds. Keep wounds covered with clean, dry bandages until healed. Follow your doctor’s instructions about proper care of the wound. Pus from infected wounds can contain MRSA so keeping the infection covered will help prevent the spread to others. Bandages and tape can be thrown away with the regular trash. Do not try to treat the infection yourself by picking or popping the sore.
- Clean your hands often. You, your family, and others in close contact should wash their hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub, especially after changing the bandage or touching the infected wound.
- Do not share personal items. Personal items include towels, washcloths, razors and clothing, including uniforms.
- Wash used sheets, towels, and clothes with water and laundry detergent. Use a dryer to dry them completely.
- Wash clothes according to manufacturer’s instructions on the label. Clean your hands after touching dirty clothes.
MRSA in the Community
- General Community
- School & Daycare
- Coaches & Athletic Directors
- Cleaning & Disinfecting for MRSA
MRSA in Healthcare Settings