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MRSA precautions for your home

When MRSA enters a family or a household there are several straightforward MRSA precautions that you can take.

High Touch Areas

Clean high touch areas such as door handles and light switches on a regular basis when a family member has an MRSA infection. Use disposable anti-bacterial wipes if available. Hands are one of the most potent carriers of MRSA bacteria so being aware of high touch areas is important.

Silent Carriers

If MRSA persists in your household after someone has had an infection it may be be because someone is a ‘silent carrier’. They will not be showing any sign of the infection but may be carrying it in their nostrils or on their skin. If MRSA persists you might want to have the whole family checked with a nasal test. Decolonization may be offered if there is a family member with major health vulnerabilities – but it will not be automatic.

Sexual Intimacy

The MRSA bacteria is often found in the nose, under the arms and in the groin area. Sexual intimacy will often be a way that the bacteria is transferred. Discover more here. Showering after sex will be one way that the transmission chain is broken before it can become established.

Key MRSA Precautions – Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene is key – hands are often what spreads the bacteria. A hand can carry the bacteria from an infected wound, a contaminated surface or from one persons skin to another. Families with an MRSA infected member should wash their hands several times a day. It is best under running water for up to 30 seconds – this and the action of rubbing your hands together literally dislodges the bacteria.

MRSA Precautions & Personal Items

Household members should also be very careful about shared towels, combs, computer keyboards, phones, tablet computers and other items that come in contact with skin if a family member has MRSA. all of these can transfer MRSA bacteria to the skin.

Family Pets

Pets can also carry the infection between family members – avoid stroking and kissing pet animals while MRSA is in your household. (MRSA is not the only issue with household pets but research is suggesting that they may be a factor in MRSA persistence in the household.) Your pet may be a silent carrier or might have an active infection themselves.

MRSA Persistence

Some people will seem to get repeated infections and suspicion will fall on household factors despite the MRSA precautions you might take. There can however be several other explanations. The drugs used for treatment may have caused the MRSA to become dormant but not eradicated. The person may have reinfected themselves from their nose, an area where MRSA hides. There may be external reinfection points such as day care, a work colleague or a highly contaminated public facility such as medical offices, airplanes or public seating. They may have a new infection or caught the same one again from the same source. Only testing for MRSA strains will clarify what is happening.

Other articles on MRSA prevention:


  1. Marissa Garcia Marissa Garcia

    I became infected with MRSA about 10 years ago. I was caring for my grandson that got in contact with it from a day care. I’ve been getting them off and on since then. I developed another one 2 days ago but this time I’m feeling feverish and my bones are aching and feel week. I hate going to the doctor, it hurts so much when they poke at it. I already drained it but it still hurts tremendously. Are my symptoms normal? I always go to a regular doctor…should i see a dermatologist?

    • Dave Dave

      The key issue is the chronic reinfection. Are you self infecting from a skin site. Is there another carrier in your circle of family or friendship who may have no symptoms but is a reinfection source through personal contact or shared enviroments.

      The doctor will ‘treat’ the outcomes. A dermatologist may help you get to the source of the problem

      Hope that helps


  2. Monty Elliott Monty Elliott

    My mom has had mrsa since august of 2015. She went into the hospital on Friday 6-17-16 with a temperature and is on antibiotics for mrsa again. She did not tell any of her family about having mrsa, because she said she was afraid no one would visit her. We all live in the same city, ( all 5 of her children, 12 of 13 grandchildren and all 14 great grandchildren). We all see her at least twice a week, at different events or family gatherings. She has handled new born great grandbabies and touched grandkids with cuts and illnesses, without telling any of us about carrying mrsa. She finally told us after being admitted to the hospital this last time. I feel she has jeopardized our family by not informing us about having mrsa. Is this a legitimate concern.

  3. […] If someone in your household has MRSA avoid sharing household items like towels, combs, mobile phones etc. Wash you hands when you get up, before meals, any time you go to the toilet and last thing at night. The hands are the final link in the infection chain in many cases. Read more about infection control in the home here. […]

  4. nagy nagy

    I had a bilateral ovarian cystectomy via laparotomy. After 2 weeks there’s a clear discharges from my wound. Went to emergency they drain and clean my wound and took a swab from the wound and after 3 days I was called back to inform that im a MRSA positive. They gave me antibiotic SEPTRIN. We are now practicing strict hand hygien in the house. Mu question is, is one week of antibiotic enough to say im clear of MRSA? My wound is close now, thought tender when u put pressure but no pain no discharges. Another question after I wash my hands or take a bath can I hug my baby? I was keeping muself away from her bec of the operation and now cant even touch her bec of MRSA. I miss her a lot.

    • Dave Dave

      7 days is often the main prescribing suggestion. Good hand hygiene is often enough to protect children and family members from infection.

      SA & MRSA are very common and many people are colonized for a while without being ill

      Hope your recovery is going well


  5. I got a staph infection from a neighbor, who says she has cellulitis.
    I never thought her nasty huge infections on her legs were a threat.
    Now I’m sure I have it in my nose and eyes. A mild infection. My
    question is can you have like a sub clinical infection and only be mildly
    infected with MRSA or will it spread? Any help with any info would be
    great. Also I have taken 4 courses of antibiotics but it comes back
    every few days. How likely is it going to spread to my family?

    • admin admin

      Many people have mild staph infections that heal without treatment. Have you had your infection verified by a medical doctor with a test?

      Knowing what strain you have will clarify what medication you should have. It could spread among your family but it is not automatic especially if you avoid shared items and have regular hand washing habits


  6. mom mom

    The fact that you cover it is only one part of the problem. if you touch something and someone else touches it the MRSA can spread. That goes for your friend too. I thought we were clear now that you had the treatment and the 10 days went by but since you were with him again and your resistance is low you can contract it again. and back and forth. I am so upset I cant even describe ever feeling this way. Dad has done everything for you and you couldnt wait another week to be sure he was clear.

  7. I just had another bout pneumonia ;y main concern is if straph is in my lungs the last time i had mrsa two super bugs in my lungs june 2012.Is it possible the bacteria is still there.

  8. angie angie

    I had mrsa im my arm pit, ive taken the oral meds and am on the nasal now, all my wounds are closed, skin is healed, how do i now take care of hair removal in that area?

    • admin admin

      Gently is perhaps the best advice. You should be mrsa negative now and the risk of cuts is low. But there is always a small chance that could become a carrier again from another source.


  9. how long can mrsa live on surfaces.

    • admin admin

      Several months in some cases. Some surfaces, such as copper or silver will kill it anyway, but it can be quite tenacious on other surfaces


      • b. herrman b. herrman

        what about on furniture or matress

        • admin admin

          It can survive on those surfaces but is more likely to be found in or around a mattress or items of high touch furniture


          • Tracy Tracy

            Can you have a healthy sex life with mrsa ?

          • admin admin

            Yes – but shower thoroughly after sex


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