Community-Associated Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA)
    Much discussion and publicity has occured recently regarding MRSA infections.  A MRSA infection is a staph infection, and its proper name is "methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus infection".  Articles about MRSA have been found in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette as recently as October 25, 2007 as well as on Good Morning America and other T.V. news shows. 
    Staph bacteria are normally present on the skin and in the nose of many healthy people without causing any health problems.  However, is staph enters the body through cuts or abrasions on the skin, it can cause an infection.  MRSA is a form of staph that is resistant to certain antibiotic treatments like methicillin.
    All forms of staph, including MRSA, are spread by skin-to-skin contact, inadequate personal hygiene and poor disinfection.
    MRSA infections can also occur among healthy individuals who have not recently been in a health care setting.  This community-associated MRSA is most commonly seen among sports teams in schools or where there is frequent skin-to-skin contact.  The sharing of towels and personal hygiene items like razors, athletic equipment,  and clothing also promotes the spread of the staph bacteria.
    On the skin, CA-MRSA usually appears as a pimple, boil, or abscess that is red, swollen, painful, and may have pus or other drainage.  Early signs of infection look like a spider bite or ingrown hair.  If left untreated, MRSA can lead to more serious infections.
    To minimize the spread of CA-MRSA, take these precautions:  Keep your hands clean by washing them with soap and warm water or use an alcohol base hand sanitizer.  Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until they are healed.  Avoid contact with other people's wounds or bandages.  Avoid sharing personal items.  Routinely clean used items like athletic equipment.





Last Modified on March 3, 2009