Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria are resistant to all beta-lactam antibiotics such as methicillin, penicillin, oxacillin and amoxicillin. A MRSA infection can be fatal.
Staphylococcus aureus bacteria are commonly found on the skin and in the noses of healthy people.
Staph bacteria are a common cause of pneumonia, surgical wound and bloodstream infections.
Most of these infections can be treated without antibiotics.
Types of MRSA Infections
Most MRSA infections occur in hospitals or other health care settings. These are called hospital-associated or healthcare-associated MRSA infections (HA-MRSA).
Risk factors for an HA-MRSA infection include current or recent hospitalization, living in a nursing home or invasive surgery.
MRSA infections occurring in people who have not been hospitalized or haven’t had a medical procedure in the past year and are otherwise healthy are called community-associated MRSA infections (CA-MRSA).
Risk factors for a CA-MRSA infection include playing contact sports, association with childcare workers or living in crowded conditions.
Red bumps that look like pimples or boils. They can become painful abscesses that must be surgically drained.
The infection site can resemble a spider bite.
The bacteria can cause infections in surgical wounds and can get into the bloodstream and bones.
MRSA is diagnosed by checking for signs of drug-resistant bacteria in nasal secretions or tissue samples. Tests that can detect staph DNA yield faster results than growing the bacteria in a lab.
Wash hands often with warm water and soap or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Cover open wounds and keep them clean until healed.
Avoid sharing personal hygiene items such as towels, sheets and toiletries.
2011 – Researchers at the University of California Davis find that the number of children hospitalized due to community-acquired MRSA doubled between 2000 and 2007.