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Q : What is MRSA ?

A: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterium that

causes infections in different parts of the body. It's tougher to treat than most strains of
staphylococcus aureus
methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus." It is a specific "staph" bacteria (a type of
germ) that is often resistant to (is not killed by) several types of antibiotic treatments.
Most S. aureus is methicillin-susceptible (killed by methicillin and most other common

Q: What are the symptoms of MRSA ?

A: The symptoms of MRSA depend on where you're infected. Most often, it
causes mild infections on the skin, like sores or boils.It can also cause more serious
skin infections or infect surgical wounds, the bloodstream, the lungs, or the urinary


Staph skin infections, including MRSA, generally start as

swollen, painful red bumps that might resemble pimples or spider bites. The affected
area might be warm to the touch, full of pus or other drainage, accompanied by a fever
These can quickly turn into deep, painful abscesses that require surgical draining.
Sometimes the bacteria remain confined to the skin. But they can also burrow deep into
the body, causing potentially life-threatening infections in bones, joints, surgical wounds,
the bloodstream, heart valves and lungs.

Q: How do you treat MRSA ?

A: MRSA is resistant to some antibiotics. But other kinds of antibiotics still

work. If you have a severe infection, or MRSA in the bloodstream, you will
need intravenous antibiotics. Unfortunately, there is emerging antibiotic
resistance being seen with some of these medications.
Treatment of MRSA at home usually includes a 7 to 10 day course of an antibiotic (by
mouth) such as trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (brand name: Bactrim), clindamycin,
minocycline, or doxycycline. It is very important to carefully follow the instructions for
taking the antibiotic; this means taking it on time and finishing the entire course of
treatment, even if you feel better after a few days. If the oral antibiotic is not effective or
if the infection is making you ill, you may need to be treated in the hospital
Q: How do you get MRSA ?
A: MRSA can spread from person to person (skin-to-skin contact) and from person to
object to person when an individual has active MRSA or is colonized by the bacteria.
Skin-to-skin contact with someone carrying MRSA is not necessary for infection to
spread. MRSA bacteria are also able to survive for extensive periods on surfaces and

objects including door handles, floors, sinks, taps, cleaning equipment and fabric. One
study to determine the survival of resistant staph on common hospital surfaces looked
at staph survival on five materials commonly found in hospital
RSA is spread by contact. So, you could get MRSA by touching another person who
has it on the skin. Or you could get it by touching objects that have the bacteria on
them. MRSA is carried by about 2% of the population (or 2 in 100 people), although
most of them aren't infected.
MRSA infections are common among people who have weak immune systems and are
in hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care centers. Infections can appear
around surgical wounds or invasive devices, like catheters or implanted feeding tubes.

Q: How can you prevent MRSA ?

A: Maintain good hand and body hygiene. Wash hands often, and clean your body
regularly, especially after exercise.Keep cuts, scrapes and wounds clean and covered
until healed. Avoid sharing personal items such as towels and razors.Get care early if
you think you might have an infection.Cover cuts and scrapes with a bandage to keep
germs out. Lay a towel down to act as a barrier between your skin and benches in
locker rooms, saunas and steam rooms.Follow the laundering directions on your
uniform's label. Dry clothes completely in a dryer. Wash your uniform after each use.