MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus)
Some germs that commonly live on the skin and in the nose are called staphylococcus or “staph” bacteria. Usually, staph bacteria don’t cause any harm. However, sometimes they get inside the body through a break in the skin and cause an infection. These infections are usually treated with antibiotics. When common antibiotics don’t kill the staph bacteria, it means the bacteria have become resistant to those antibiotics. This type of staph is called MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus).
Anyone can get MRSA. Infections range from mild to very serious, even life-threatening. MRSA is contagious and can be spread to other people through skin-to-skin contact.
MRSA was first identified in the 1960’s and was mainly found in hospitals and nursing homes. This occurred because antibiotics were being given to people when they weren’t needed, and patients were not taking antibiotics as directed. MRSA infections that are acquired by persons who have not been recently (within the past year) hospitalized or had a medical procedure (such as dialysis, surgery, catheters) are know as Community-Acquired MRSA or CA-MRSA infections.
Staph or MRSA infections in the community are usually manifested as skin infections, such as pimples and boils, and occur in otherwise healthy people. In the late 1990’s, a new type of MRSA was identified. This type of MRSA is becoming more common among children and adults who do not have medical problems.
Memo to Campus Community regarding MRSA