MRSA is a serious infection that can become life-threatening if left untreated.
Some germs that commonly live on the skin and in the nose are called staphylococcus or "staph" bacteria. Usually staph bacteria don't cause any harm. However, sometimes they get inside the body through a break in the skin and cause an infection. These infections are usually treated with antibiotics. When common antibiotics don't kill the staph bacteria, it means the bacteria have become resistant to those antibiotics. This type of staph is called MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus).
Anyone can get MRSA. Infections range from mild to very serious, even life-threatening. MRSA is contagious and can be spread to other people …show more content…
You take antibiotics a lot.
You take antibiotics without a prescription.
You don't follow directions when taking antibiotics, such as stopping early or missing doses.
You are at greater risk of getting MRSA if you are recovering from surgery or burns, have tubes in your body for medical treatment, or if you share needles.
Symptoms and Signs
Symptoms of a MRSA infection depend on where the infection is. If MRSA is causing an infection in a wound, that area of your skin may be red or tender. If you have a urinary tract infection, you may have fever, back pain, burning when you urinate, or a need to urinate more often than usual. If you have pneumonia, you may develop a cough.
Community-Associated MRSA commonly causes skin infections, such as boils, abscesses, or cellulitis. Often, people think they have been bitten by a spider or insect. Because MRSA infections can become serious in a short amount of time, it is important to see your doctor right away if you notice a boil or other skin problem.
You would not usually be tested for MRSA unless you have an active infection. If you have a skin infection your health care provider may take a sample of the fluid. This is called taking a culture. Diagnosis is by Gram stain and culture of infected material. Susceptibility studies should be done because