Is MRSA airborne? How can you protect yourself? Staphylococcus aureus is very common and will be being ‘shed’ by many people who may be carrying it on their skin, in their noses and on their hands. But the drug resistant version (MRSA) is still very rare – less than 2% of the general population are thought to be carriers – and will not generally be in the air around you in everyday life.
When might MRSA airborne be a risk?
Some studies do talk of the ‘MRSA’ cloud that can be around an MRSA sufferer who is very ill and unable to move a great deal. An MRSA carrier who may not be ill from the bacteria but has symptoms of infections that lead them to sneeze and cough can also project the the MRSA bacteria all around them. MRSA can survive on surfaces for some time so the original airborne MRSA bacteria can transfer via a surface to a hand and onto the skin or into the nose.
Is MRSA airborne in hospitals?
Ward hygiene and infection control specialists have also noted that given the high concentration of MRSA in hospitals care must be taken with the hygiene of fans and other air circulation aids in case a dust/ bacteria mix carries MRSA to other patients. Fans can become coated with dust and MRSA fomites. The fan itself or the general passage of air can carry this mix around the ward and open up the potential for cross infection of other patients.
Is MRSA Airborne in the Farm context?
There is some evidence that large scale farming produces huge amounts of waste material that may have MRSA within it. This can be transported for a mile or two downwind of the facility in it’s dried out particulate state and make humans vulnerable to the strains carried by livestock. High rates of MRSA in farm contexts have been noted.
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