Staphylococcus aureus (Staph) is a type of bacteria that is commonly found on the skin and mucus membranes of healthy people. Some Staph bacteria are easily treatable while others are not. Staph bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotic methicillin are known as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA. If left untreated, MRSA infections may develop into serious, life-threatening complications such as infection of the bloodstream, bones and/or lungs (e.g., pneumonia).
There are no specific symptoms of MRSA because it can be normal nose or skin bacteria. Early diagnosis ensures that appropriate measures can be taken to limit the spread of the infection.
MRSA is usually spread through direct physical contact or through contact with objects contaminated with infected bodily fluids. Those with weakened immune systems and chronic illnesses are more susceptible to the infection and MRSA has been shown to spread easily in healthcare settings.
In order to prevent these infections, it is important to practice good hygiene to keep hands clean. Ensure cuts and scrapes are kept clean and covered until they have healed. It is also important to avoid unprotected contact with other people's wounds or bandages. Finally, do not share personal items such as towels or razors.