What is MRSA?
MRSA is a drug resistant strain of the common staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Bacteria can live outside your body and can also live quietly on your skin until it finds a cut, wound or graze to infect. It is found on the skin of 1-2% of people – but ordinary staphylococcus aureus is on the skin of up to 35% of people. Both MRSA and Staph can cause infections on your skin or in wounds but MRSA is harder to treat as it is resistant to several antibiotics. MRSA is often caught in hospitals but is becoming common in the community. Discover what you need to know about infection, symptoms, treatment and prevention here.
What does MRSA mean.
First – an explanation of the MRSA initials.
- Methicillin – this was one of the first drugs used against staphylococcus aureus infections. MRSA is now resistant to many other penicillin and cephalosporin drugs but this one gave it its name.
- Resistant – while many drugs kill the bacteria they are aimed at others don’t or people stop before the drug has completed the task. This allows the bacteria to begin to resist that drug when it encounters it again.
- Staphylococcus aureus – this is a common type of bacteria that looks like a bunch of grapes under the microscope. The name has greek origins
How do you catch MRSA?
You can catch MRSA in the home, in hospitals or in public environments with high touch surfaces used by many people. It is often accidentally left behind by an MRSA carrier on hard surfaces where it can survive for weeks. High contact sport, shared gym equipment, sex and shared household items can also be part of the MRSA transmission chain. How do you catch MRSA
What are the symptoms of MRSA?
For many people their experience of MRSA will be linked to a skin condition. But MRSA can also find it’s way into the bloodstream and cause infections. These can only be diagnosed via blood tests and other medical technology. What is MRSA – The symptoms
Other pages about MRSA symptoms
- MRSA Screening & Preventing Infection
- MRSA Symptoms – What are the signs
- MRSA Test – when should you ask for one?
- What is MRSA Infection? – 4 Key Facts
How is MRSA Infection treated?
There are 4 different types of treatment – these range from incision and drainage of a wound to specific drug treatment for the strain of MRSA you may have. What is MRSA – Treatment
How can I protect myself against MRSA?
Read our guide to protecting yourself. Find out about hand washing, surface hygiene and ways of protecting your household when one of you has MRSA. What is MRSA – Precautions