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What Is a MRSA Infection?


Understand How MRSA Can Be Spread
Understand How MRSA Can Be Spread

MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a bacteria that may cause a skin infection that’s more difficult to treat than other bacterial infections.

In a 2011 study, 59% of skin and soft tissue infections in the emergency department were found to contain MRSA.

The spread of MRSA tends to happen to people who are in crowded places. This can include:
  • Athletes
  • Recently hospitalized people
  • Children in daycare
  • School students
  • Military personnel living in barracks

You can get a MRSA skin infection by:

  • Having direct contact with a cut or scrape of someone infected with MRSA
  • Sharing personal items, such as towels or razors, that have touched infected skin
You may mistake a MRSA skin infection for a spider bite or pimple. Signs and symptoms of a MRSA infection include a bump or sore area that can be:
  • Red
  • Swollen
  • Painful
  • Warm to the touch
  • Full of pus or other drainage

You may also have a fever with this type of infection.

If you have any MRSA symptoms, it’s important to cover the affected area with a bandage. Be sure to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds before and after bandaging—this can help prevent spreading MRSA to others. Contact your doctor if you have symptoms of a MRSA infection, especially a fever, in order to get diagnosed and begin treatment.