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What are the risk factors for MRSA infections?

People with higher risk of MRSA infection are those with skin breaks (scrapes, cuts, or surgical wounds) or hospital patients with intravenous lines, burns, or skin ulcers. In addition, MRSA may infect people with weak immune systems (infants, the elderly, people with diabetes or cancer, or HIV-infected individuals) or people with chronic skin diseases (eczema and psoriasis) or chronic illnesses. People with pneumonia (lung infection) due to MRSA can transmit MRSA by droplets produced during coughing. Patients in health-care facilities are often in these risk categories, so special precautions recommended by CDC may be posted on a sign at the room entrance. Examples include "droplet precautions" -- if the patient has pneumonia, disposable masks, gowns, and gloves must be used by people who enter the room, and they must be taken off before leaving. "Contact precautions" may be posted recommending gowns and gloves only if the patient has skin infection. Precautions must be followed as posted by both health-care professionals and visitors to keep from spreading MRSA to other patients or people at risk of serious infection.

Reviewed on 6/30/2017

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