Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)
What is Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)?*
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a serious bacterial skin infection that can be spread through close skin-to-skin contact, inadequate hygiene, openings in the skin, crowded living conditions, and contaminated objects. There are typically two settings in which people can become infected.
MRSA infections that are acquired by otherwise healthy people who have not been hospitalized or who have not undergone a medical procedure within the past year are characterized as community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA). These infections usually appear as pimple or boil that can be red, swollen and painful. Health care-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA), which accounts for the vast majority of MRSA infections, is acquired by patients with compromised immune systems in hospitals or other health care settings, and could include surgical wound infections, urinary tract infections, bloodstream infections, and pneumonia.
How do I protect myself from getting MRSA?*
You can protect yourself by:Additional Resources:
- practicing good hygiene (e.g., keeping your hands clean by washing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and showering immediately after participating in exercise);
- covering skin trauma such as abrasions or cuts with a clean dry bandage until healed;
- avoiding sharing personal items (e.g., towels, razors) that come into contact with your bare skin; and using a barrier (e.g., clothing or a towel) between your skin and shared equipment such as weight-training benches;
- maintaining a clean environment by establishing cleaning procedures for frequently touched surfaces and surfaces that come into direct contact with people's skin.
*This information is from the NYS Department of Health website.New York State Department of Health - A wide range of resources, including fact sheets, posters, and press information, that will help you learn more about the transmission, prevention, and control of MRSA.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Questions and Answers about Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) in Schools