What is MRSA?

14 04 2011

MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant staphylococcus aureus) is a strain of staphylococus aureus bacteria that normally lives on the skin and sometimes in the nasal passages of healthy people. MRSA is the result of the overuse of antibiotics. The normal staph bacteria evolved to be resistant to the standard antibiotics used in the treatment of antibiotic infection. MRSA usually starts as a skin infection but if the bacteria enter the body it can result in a mild to severe infection. A person is more vulnerable to an infection from the bacteria if you have a weakened immune system. The bacterium eats away at the skin and spread very rapidly.

(Juijitsu, 2011)

There are two types of MRSA infections, Community Acquired MRSA and Hospital Acquired MRSA.  The disease is the same, although oftentimes CA-MRSA is less severe. They are spread in the same way, through contact with the bacteria and also treated similarly. The difference is that HA-MRSA is acquired in the hospital, and CA-MRSA is acquired in the community. Some common places you can come in contact with CA-MRSA are:

  • Gyms
  • Prisons
  • Schools
  • Dormitories
  • Day Care centers
  • Military Barracks (Evans, R, 2008)