What is Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)?

Staphylococcus aureus is a type of bacteria that lives on the skin and mucous membranes of healthy people. Occasionally Staphylococcus aureus can cause an infection. When Staphylococcus aureus develops resistance to certain antibiotics, it is called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.

How is MRSA spread?


MRSA is spread from one person to another by contact, usually on the hands of caregivers.

MRSA can be present on the caregiver’s hands either from touching contaminated material excreted by the infected person or from touching articles contaminated by the skin of a person with MRSA, such as towels, sheets and wound dressings. MRSA can live on hands and objects in the environment.

How can I stop the spread of MRSA?

You can stop MRSA from spreading by frequently washing your hands with soap and water, or by using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Everyone including staff, physicians, patients, family and friends should be washing hands to prevent the spread of all kinds of germs, including MRSA.

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Last Updated March 1, 2013 | © 2007, LHSC, London Ontario Canada