Methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
What is MRSA?
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a type of Staph bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics. There are two types of MRSA:
- Hospital-associated MRSA, which can cause infections in the bloodstream and at surgical sites and pneumonia
- Community-associated MRSA, which can cause skin or lung (less common) infections
Common symptoms of community-related MRSA include:
- A red, swollen, painful bump or infected area on the skin
- Warm to the touch
- Pus or other fluid drainage
Hospital-related MRSA infections are more severe and may occur in the bloodstream, heart, lungs, or other organs, urine or at recent surgery sites. Some symptoms include:
- Chest pain
- Cough or shortness of breath
- Fever and chills
- General ill feeling
- Wounds that do not heal
MRSA is often spread through direct contact with an infected wound. Hospital-related MRSA can also be transmitted on beds, bathroom fixtures, medical equipment and the hands of health care providers and visitors.
How is it diagnosed?
In addition to a physical exam to check for symptoms, your physician will order a culture of a sample from a wound, blood, urine or saliva. This test will show whether MRSA bacteria are present to confirm the diagnosis.