MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)

MRSA is a type of "staph" infection that has become resistant to some antibiotics such as penicillin. Bacteria may develop resistance to antibiotics when they are used but are not needed or not taken as directed.

Until recently, people most often got MRSA infections when they had open wounds, burns, and/or tubes inserted in their bodies for medical treatment and were hospitalized or stayed in a nursing home. Now MRSA skin infections are becoming more common among adults and children who have not stayed in hospitals or nursing homes. As of 2012, 81% of MRSA infections, in Pierce County, are skin or soft tissue infections.

MRSA infections can be mild or very serious and are spread through skin to skin contact or less frequently by touching surfaces that have MRSA on them. The best way to protect against MRSA infections is frequent hand washing with soap and water.

MRSA infections of the respiratory tract, urine, or blood are much less common than skin infections.

A podcast is available on "What You Can Do To Protect Yourself And Your Family" at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

The fact sheets below explain what MRSA is, what it looks like, how you get it, how it is treated and how to stop the spread of a MRSA infection.

Toolkits have been designed to help stop the spread of MRSA infections.

Review and use the materials (listed below) as you find a need for them.

MRSA Toolkits for:

What to do about MRSA and other MDRO's in Adult Family and Boarding Homes -- Updated October 2011