WHAT IS MRSA?

MRSA is a form of "staph infection" caused when Staphylococcus Aureus bacteria, that is resistant to antibiotics. This usually enters the body through cuts and abrasions and can lead to pneumonia, joint and blood-stream infections. MRSA usually appears, at first, as "spider bites" or small boils in the skin.

MRSA stands for methicillin-resistantStaphylococcus aureus. MRSA is a “staph” germ that does not get better with the first-line antibiotics that usually cure staph infections.

When this occurs, the germ is “resistant”to the antibiotic.

Most staph bacteria is are spread by skin-to-skin contact (touching). A doctor, nurse, other health care provider, or visitors may have staph germs on their body that can spread to a patient.

Once the staph germ enters the body, it can spread to bones, joints, the blood, or any organ, such as the lungs, heart, or brain.

NOTE: Serious staph infections are more common in people with a weakened immune system, children, elderly and cancer patients

MRSA infections can also occur in healthy people who have not recently been in the hospital. Most of these MRSA infections are on the skin or less commonly lung infections. People who may be at risk are:

  • Athletes who may share items such as towels and equipment
  • Children in day-care
  • Members of the military
  • People who have gotten tattoos