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Exposure to MRSA in Everyday Life

Exposure to MRSA – what can you do if a family or friend gets it? Where else might you encounter MRSA?

Stay calm

MRSA is a slightly worse version of the staphylococcus aureus infection (SA) that 35% of people are vulnerable to because they carry the bacteria on their skin. 1-2% of people on average may be MRSA carriers. It may never develop into an active infection for the majority of people. For many people the right drugs or other medical interventions solve the infection if they do get one.


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.

MRSA exposure in Hospital

You can catch MRSA in hospital. But you may already be a carrier and you can self infect. Catching MRSA in hospital may be the result of poor infection control practices. Hand hygiene among the nursing staff is particularly important as their hands can be temporarily carrying MRSA from patient to patient. If you are going to have a major procedure then most hospitals will test you for MRSA and use mupirocin to decolonize your nose if you have it there. They should also wash you using chlorhexidine before and after an operation to help eradicate MRSA that may arrive from any source.

Exposure to MRSA in the Workplace

Some people become fearful if they become aware that someone in their workplace has MRSA. For all the reasons mentioned above this is not a helpful response as the risk is low. If there is one person in your workplace with MRSA there may be up to 35 others with the SA part, which is easier to treat but equally dangerous in a wound. The Human Resources resources site says this:

  • MRSA is spread by direct, close, personal contact; therefore, coworkers are not typically at risk of catching the infection from one another.
  • To minimize the spread of MRSA, disinfect shared equipment and tools, wash hands frequently, and avoid sharing razors, towels, PPE, and uniforms.
  • As long as the infection site is covered with a dry, sterile dressing, employees with a MRSA infection do not need to be removed from the workplace.

MRSA in Public Spaces

Any frequently touched surface in a public space has the potential to harbour MRSA (and many other bacteria). There is therefore a small risk that you could become a carrier in this way. For most people the pattern of hand washing before or after meals, after visiting the toilet etc will remove the bacteria before it has time to become established.

Gyms and Sporting Facilities

If hands and underarms are a major carrier of MRSA bacteria then gyms, certain types of contact sports and sporting equipment or surfaces all carry an MRSA transmission risk. Showering after sporting activity and hand hygiene will both reduce the risk. The facility and participants are also encouraged to clean equipment before and after use to remove MRSA bacteria before use by you or anyone else

Although the risk of catching MRSA and developing an infection is low don’t be too complacent. It can make other illnesses or wounds more complicated.

The simple actions described above will will lessen the risk a lot. If you are visiting someone seriously ill with MRSA exercise caution if you or a family member has major health challenges.


  1. Newsome Newsome

    My son did not have MRSA when he went in to have surgery.
    He was put in a medically induced coma for 6 days because the doctors got tired and had to split the surgery up. They opened up his entire spine to put cadava bones in his neck where a few years ago they removed a malignant tumor and they did that to give him support back in his neck and then the orthopedic doctor decided to open his entire spine up and put a metal brace on his back with screws in it his entire Back got infected.
    He is very sick. His pain is horrible. They can’t get the wound to heal. Publix allowed him to work 70-80 hrs a week with no help and everyone saw he had no support in his neck. He was a produce manager or that’s what they called him so they could work him to death with no help. When you figure up what he made it was not even mimium wage. He got the magaliant tumor while he was at PUBLIX around all the pesticides on the fruit. Most of these tumors are benign. His was magaliant. He was a hard working young man. He was in severe pain all the time but, he has two little boys that he has given his life for. He did not have Mrsa when he went in but, he had it when he came home. His spine was sticking out of the cervical area.
    They did another surgery to saw off the bone. They put a pump in his neck to drain. He was on PO and IV antibiotics. It took 8 hrs. For the first 8 hrs. They taught his non medical wife how to give the MEDS because the insurance he paid for all those yrs. Would only come part of the time. Is there a lawyer that is not afraid of the hospitals layers that will help him.?? He deserves some help. His back looks like someone took an axe and busted it open!!! Pleas some one review his records. He will NEVER WORK AGAIN AND HE WANTS TOO. HELP HIM PLEASE.

    • Dave Roberts Dave Roberts

      Search on Google using the term MRSA lawyers. This will suggest the lawyers who fully understand this condition

      Dave Roberts

  2. Concerned Concerned

    My Cousin had MRSA about a yr ago. Bad case, she had to have part of her scalp removed because it went into the bone. She would like to come out and stay at my house for 3 wks. I’m little worried to have her in my home. I have a new grandbaby that I babysit daily. Should I tell her No??? I’m scared of someone else catching MRSA from her. Wondering if I’m over reacting???

    • Dave Roberts Dave Roberts

      There is always a risk but it can be reduced to almost nothing. the key is to ensure that she has her own towels etc. You should also encourage everyone to wash their hands before and after every meal. We are all around people with MRSA and SA. Good hand hygiene is the best way to stop spread


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  4. JEN JEN

    Hello, my cousin has been in the hospital for a week now, he was in very bad motorcycle accident. He had many open wounds and was on a breathing machine, they took him off and but in a treach and got jaw surgery as well.. All the family has been in to see him (ICU) We just found out that he has MRSA in the lungs and is now in isolation. Have we been exposed ?? We had to ware gloves and a gown when we first went in the (ICU). Could any of us get MRSA by being close to him?? I have 3 kids so I’m kinda worried also my husband gave him a kiss on the forehead, Has he been exposed?? Can we even get MRSA if it has affected his lungs?? Please help!!!

  5. Angie Angie

    My daughter has recently been told her 1 1/2 yr old son has MRSA. He had surgery this morning to drain this from his bottom. He is still on antibiotics. How long before he is well enough to go around other people without infecting them?

  6. chloe chloe

    I am a massage therapist and a client of mine has had MRSA. She told me today that her doctor finally said it was ok to have a massage but I am still worried. She had it over a month so I am hoping it cleared but am I still at risk? I work on her in her home as well which worries me.

    • admin admin

      The bacteria tend to hide out in the nose, armpit and groin but can leak onto other skin surfaces. 1 in 3 of your clients will have the SA part of MRSA on their skin. It can be just as bad but is easier to treat. Some of your clients will also be ‘silent carriers’ of MRSA – they will not have had an infection yet. You could also be a ‘superspreader’ as you touch the skin of people.

      Like a nurse the key for you is hand hygiene. It will remove the MRSA from your skin if transferred from a client and remove it from yours if you are a ‘silent carrier’.

      Occasional baths with Hibiclens will also help protect the rest of your body


  7. Elaine Elaine

    My husband who is taking chemotherapy, recently visited a nursing home patient and found out later she has MRSA. Should he be worried?

    • Hello. I have a 2 year old son who recently came down with mrsa. I am gteitng frustrated because this is his 3rd time gteitng it. He was a 24 week premature baby. He only weighed 1 pound 9 ounces. I have heard of mrsa being fatal in some cases. I am afraid that if it keeps coming back that it will become fatal to him. Should I take him to see a dermatologist?. Will my 1 year old come down with this too? Are they any home remedies for me to help out my 2 year old with mrsa? Is there any homeopathic stuff out there I can try? If anyone has any feedback please I am at wits end with these doctors. Thank you all so much!!!!!!!!

  8. erica erica

    my grandpa was hospitalized this last sunday for a bladder infection and muscle weakness and my 8 month old daughter and i went in to visit him yesterday and today and just found out after our visit today that he has mrsa and it was found in his urine. he has a wierd red area on his arm but no blisters. what should i do to prevent my daughter from getting it??

    • admin admin

      He is likely to be an mrsa carrier and there is a small risk that you may now be carriers if you were not already. (Many people are silent carriers). The use of some Hibiclens baths may help clear any carriage for your child’s skin. Being a carrier means that you are at risk for infection but does not mean that you will get an infection. Many people also ‘lose’ the bacteria from their skin after a few weeks.


  9. Chris Chris

    I was diagnosed with MRSA while in the hospital after having surgery. I have had to have a PICC line implanted into my arm to my heart to have 1000mg vancomyicin treatments. I am terrified I know very little about this illness, I also have RSD\CRPS which I had a spinal cord stimulator implanted, with 6 revisions the last one was to remove it entirely after pinpointing my MRSA from 5 different surgical locations. What do I do? Is this going to be something that I have to worry about for the rest of my life? Is this something that is going to get my wife sick? Is this something that is going to kill me, debilitate me worse than my RSD\CRPS has done to me? What am I to expect?

    • admin admin

      The vancomycin should do the trick with this infection. In most cases you will have no further MRSA related illness. Because of your other health vulnerabilites ask for a check as to whether you have nasal colonization and if so ask for decolonization. If you are not a carrier via your nose the risk to your wife is low and even if you are the risk of a full blown infection for her is low unless she has major surgery or injury. In that event the hospital would seek to address the MRSA issue as a matter of course.

      The risk of death is low but there is no room for complacency given your other health challenges


  10. JRT JRT

    Just founnd out that the nanny caring for my two grandchildren ages 18 mo and 6 wks, has had mersa. Should we be worried about her working daily with these small children?

    • admin admin

      When did she have it? What treatment did she get? MRSA and general staph bacteria are very common. 80% of people are staph carriers at some time in their lives and 35% have it all times. A lower number carry MRSA which needs stronger drugs.

      Many do not suffer an infection unless the bacteria find a wound, cut or graze to infect.

      The children will often be exposed to staph and mrsa so it is hard to avoid. If the nanny is infection free at this time and hand washing is regular within the family the risk of transmission is less and the chances of the children getting an active infection are small


  11. Naomi Naomi

    Hello guys!

    I am worried. I just found out that my 24 month old has MRSA?!?!? I read somthing about how mortality rate is higher… what do I need to worry about, what are the facts and any tips and advice would be appreciated! Thank you


    • admin admin

      It is only high in people who are already quite ill – usually with an other condition. If it is a skin infection the threat is even less. Read the rest of our site for the tips and advice you need.


  12. Kristen Kristen

    Just last night we found out that my father-in-law has MRSA. He was put in the hospital last week and had to under go a ton of test to see what was wrong with him. We vistited him this last sunday & all we knew was that he had a blood infection. It was 2 days before we found out about the MRSA. I guess my concern is not what we can do from now on, but how much of a risk we are at because of our contact. I have to worry about myself as well as 2 kids & my husband. Both my daughters & I are feeling under the weather & my oldest daughter (12 yrs) has red raised skin on her face, but no signs of blisters or visable bumps. Should I be keeping them home? There is also the concern for my job, because I am a massage therapist. I take all the precausions of keeping things clean, but my business is in my house. I can clean everything from top to bottom, but do i need to contact those who were in after our contact w/mrsa, but before we knew?
    Any input would be great, I’m not getting a whole lot on line & will probably be in contact w/a local doc to see what they can tell me as well

  13. Celi Celi

    My great-grandmother that lived with us just passed yesterday, she had a MRSA infection. We didn’t find out until this past weekend, so it sounds like we’ve all been exposed including my 2 year old. From what it sounds like, we need to clean everything even though we wore gloves and washed hands after we changed her, but do we need to get the carpet done? Or just do doorknobs, laundry, bathe in Hibclens, etc. Is there any way to find out how long she had it? She was a dialysis patient and from what I’ve researched, it’s common for dialysis patients to contract MRSA.

    • admin admin

      All of the above would be good – but the carper issues tend to be related to areas where the person might have ‘stayed’ for long periods such as the bedroom or a favourite chair.


  14. Liz Bahr Liz Bahr

    We just learned today that my Dad has MRSA when a UA was done testing for a UTI and MRSA was found 6 weeks ago. He lives in a Nursing Home, but we were not told of the finding. During the time we did not know, my Son came by 4 weeks ago to see him with his newborn child. My Dad held the baby. Dad did not touch the baby except the blanket the baby was wrapped in. Was there any risk to any of us? We had a care conference that same day and no staff said anything.

    • admin admin

      There is always some risk when people are in contact with an MRSA carrier. Some people get MRSA, not because they were carrying it but because it entered their body during medical treatment or in the aftermath. Unless your dad has had a test to see if the bacteria is on his skin or in his nose it is hard to say whether he was a carrier or simply infected. People often carry the bacteria for a few days and shed it when they wash or their clothes are washed.

      Unless the newborn has some health vulnerabilities the risk of an active infection is low.

      I hope that helps

      Dave Roberts
      MRSA Infection

  15. Kerri Kerri

    My sister-in-law’s grandfather has been in the hospital and was just diagnosed with mrsa; because she and her children were in contact with him,they’ve been told to avoid close contact with anyone for 10 days. My 6 week old is to be baptized on Sunday and her children were finally going to meet their new cousin. Is it really necessary for them to avoid all contact just because they were exposed? I want to keep my children safe, but also would like them to be at the party.

    • admin admin

      Interesting advice. MRSA can linger for a lot longer than 10 days. The key is handwashing and some antibacterial baths. Your sister in law might like to get some Hibiclens from the pharmacy and have the family all bathe in it at some point. Wash hands before going to the service. This will help eliminate hand and body contamination and reduce the risk of it being passed on. If any family member has MRSA bacteria in the nose, (this is quite common without infection) then the 10 day suggestion will not make any difference, but hand washing and an antibacterial bathe will reduce the risk of ‘silent infection’ of others.

      Hope this helps
      Dave Roberts

  16. jenny jenny

    My nephew has mersa and found out he is a carrier. Having problems looking for a sitter that will take him. What can we tell anyone who would be a possible sitter to make them comfortable with watching him around other children?

    • admin admin

      1 in 3 of the children he mixes with are carriers of the equally dangerous but easier to treat staph aureus infection. Some of the other children may be MRSA carriers as well. If you get Hibiclens and wash him in that regularly then you can honestly say that you are tasking action to keep the bacteria of his skin. Getting all the children to do a hand washing game at the end of the sitting sessions as a matter of course any way will help prevent the spread of MRSA and many other bacteria.

      Hope that helps

      Dave Roberts
      MRSA Infection

  17. tinu tinu

    i got a absecess in axilla it opend and pus took out and sent for culture it grows mrsa what will be the reason and how it treats

    • admin admin

      Underarm infections have a variety of causes including issues related to deodorants etc blocking pores. Staph or it’s harder to treat variety – MRSA – is found on the skin of may people and it can live there without causing infection for a very long time. It then enterds an area of wekness caused by other skin issues and complicates that with a full blown infection. Taking the pus out may be enough. If you need drug treatment that will depend on what strrain of staph or MRSA you have. Until the tests come back it’s hard to say how you should be treated.

      Dave Roberts
      MRSA Infection

  18. Gina Gina

    My son broke his arm, both the radius and the ulna and had to have surgery. Approximately 5 wks later he had one finger and now that were bothering him on the same arm that is casted and that he had surgery on. When I took him to the Dr. he said it could’ve started due to a hangnail but looks to be staph or MRSA and is now on antibiotics. Due to the cast it has made it hard for him to wash that hand. What do we need to do as a family to keep from getting it and keep my son healthy.

    • admin admin

      Hand washing is one of the keys within the family, although you may already be carriers from before the accident. It is possible to carry the bacteria for many years with no infection. The hand washing works best when linked with daily events such as getting up, meal times, toilet visits etc. The hand is key to moving the bacteria to your nose or other hiding place so many counsel concentrating on the hands rather than being too woried about the whole home environment. Within the home you might like to to clean high touch surfaces such as door knobs, bathroom taps and lightswitches – these are the places of greatest potential cross infection.

      Hope that helps

      Dave Roberts
      MRSA Infection

  19. yes my son,dallas is in the hospital, and he was in a bad motorcycle wreck[ and he has under
    gone alot mof surgerys[ and he now has
    infection do you think it will turn into merca
    can they treat it with antibotics[ thanks kathy

    • admin admin

      They will know very quickly whether it is MRSA. Younger patients usually survive with antibiotic treatment.

      Dave Roberts
      MRSA Infection

  20. Chelsey Chelsey

    My Friend just found out he has Mrsa in a sore that is on his behind. He stays at my house almost everyday. He is on medicine and a cream. I was wondering If I could get it from him. We share the same bathroom. After he goes the the bathroom he cleans the toilet seat with rubbing Alcohol.

    • admin admin

      Sounds like he is already taking the best precaution re the toilet. You might also want to step up your own hand washing regime as hands are often a transition resting place for bacteria picked up from surfaces.

      Dave Roberts
      MRSA Watch

  21. Donna Wallis Donna Wallis

    My uncle is staying with me, he may have mrsa. My husband and I are both diabetic. My best freind has cancer(lukemia). She is may come in a few weeks. We have a trip to DC planned. What worries do we have as far as me being a carrier. Her immune is low.

    • admin admin

      You are all vulnerable so caution is wise. But until you’re clear that he does have MRSA then you should be aware that 1 in 3 people have the SA part and as many as 1 in 10 have MRSA so it is hard to avoid. A key in the home is the avoidance of shared objects such as towels and regular hand washing (after meals, shared activities and last thing at night). The hand is usually the ‘bridge’ and keeping them clean drastically redices the risk

      Dave Roberts
      MRSA Infection

  22. Keri Keri

    My grandfather has been living with us for the past 6 months and I just found out that he has MRSA for about the last year. My husband and I have two children (4 and 6). I’m a bit concerned and not sure what if anything I need to do other than the standard washing the hands constantly, cleaning handles and door knob, and not sharing personal items. My kids love their grandpa and spend a lot of time hanging out with him. Should I be worried?

    • admin admin

      You’ve pretty much covered all the wise responses. Many people have SA or MRSA so having one of them close simply means extra caution – the hand is often the final link in the transmission chain so what you are doing will help avoid that

      Dave Roberts
      MRSA Infection

  23. Kim Kim

    A family member who has been staying with my family (and sleeping on couch) for the past 6 months is now being cultured for MRSA? He moved out last month but I’m concerned with my family’s health. What should I do regarding cleaning couch (should I have it professional cleaned or just throw it out?) Should I be using bleach to clean my house? HELP!

    • admin admin

      It might be helpful to clean high touch areas such as door knobs, handles etc. The couch might benefit from a professional clean. Be aware that the SA part of MRSA is very common and often as harmful and is carried by 35% of people. As many as 10% may carry MRSA. It will be hard to avoid MRSA bacteria in the general run of life but a bit of ‘deep cleaning’ at home will help your family protected

      Dave Roberts
      MRSA Questions

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