November 26, 2015

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How is a MRSA infection transmitted or spread?

MRSA infections are contagious from person to person; occasionally direct contact with a MRSA-infected person is not necessary because the bacteria can also be spread by people who touch materials or surfaces contaminated with MRSA organisms. There are two major ways people become infected with MRSA. The first is physical contact with someone who is either infected or is a carrier (people who are not infected but are colonized with the bacteria on their body) of MRSA. The second way is for people to physically contact MRSA on any objects such as door handles, floors, sinks, or towels that have been touched by a MRSA-infected person or carrier. Normal skin tissue in people usually does not allow MRSA infection to develop; however, if there are cuts, abrasions, or other skin flaws such as psoriasis (a chronic inflammatory skin disease with dry patches, redness, and scaly skin), MRSA may proliferate. Many otherwise healthy individuals, especially children and young adults, do not notice small skin imperfections or scrapes and may be lax in taking precautions about skin contacts. This is the likely reason MRSA outbreaks occur in diverse types of people such as school team players (like football players or wrestlers), dormitory residents, and armed-services personnel in constant close contact. A recent example of this spread of MRSA occurred in three NFL football players, all members of the same team, Tampa Bay. Three players got skin infections, and one had to undergo foot surgery to rid the player of recurrent MRSA infection. Continue Reading

Reviewed on 2/4/2015