Staph & MRSA
A Staph infection is a contagious skin infection that is caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Staph is a common germ that many people carry in their nasal passages, under their fingernails, or on their skin with no ill effects. MRSA is a type of Staph that has developed antibiotic resistance (certain antibiotics are unable to kill the bacteria). Staph is spread primarily by direct (skin-to-skin) human contact or with direct contact to wound drainage of someone who is carrying or infected with the bacteria. When you come into contact with infectious secretions and have a break in your skin you are at risk. MRSA may occur less frequently through indirect contact with contaminated surfaces or items. MRSA is not spread through the air.
Staph infections begin abruptly. Symptoms may include a large area of redness on the skin, swelling and pain, followed by a pustule or abscess or boils and carbuncles (red, lumpy sores filled with pus). If left untreated, Staph can infect blood and bones, causing severe illness that requires hospitalization.
Below are links with additional information including guidelines and procedures for the prevention and spread of MRSA.