MRSA – Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

  • MRSA is a type of “staph” skin infection that has become resistant to some antibiotics such as penicillin.  Bacteria may develop resistance to antibiotics when they are used but are not needed or not taken as directed. 

    Until recently, people most often got MRSA infections when they had open wounds, burns, and/or tubes inserted in their bodies for medical treatment and were hospitalized or stayed in a nursing home. Now MRSA skin infections are becoming more common among adults and children who have not stayed in hospitals or nursing homes.

    MRSA infections can be mild or very serious and are spread through skin to skin contact or less frequently by touching surfaces that have MRSA on them.  The best way to protect against MRSA infections is frequent hand washing with soap and water.


    Stop the spread of germs with frequent hand washing    

    Good hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria, including the bacteria which cause MRSA.  Here's how to do it effectively.

    • Wash often and wash well.  Use soap and water to make a good lather.
    • Rub your hands together for 20 seconds, washing fronts and backs, between fingers and under nails.  Sing the "Happy Birthday" song once through completely.
    • Rinse with plenty of water.
    • Dry with a paper towel and use the towel to turn off the faucet.
    • Use of an alcohol-based (60%) hand cleaner (like Purell) is also effective for killing germs.

    Hand washing poster