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MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus)

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What it is and how it spreads

MRSA is a type of staph infection that has become resistant to some antibiotics such as penicillin. Learn more about bacterial resistance on our antibiotic resistance page.

You might associate MRSA with open wounds and hospitalization. But MRSA skin infections are becoming more common among adults and children who haven’t 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. It spreads through skin-to-skin contact. Less often, people can get MRSA by touching surfaces that have the bacteria 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.