Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is a form of infection caused by the Staphylococcus (staph) bacteria. MRSA refers to a particular type of staph infection that is resistant to antibiotics commonly used to treat staph. It usually manifests as a skin infection, but in hospitals and other health-care settings it may occur inside the body and cause a much more serious and dangerous illness.
Symptoms of MRSA
Common staph or MRSA infections look like red bumps. They might be painful, swollen or filled with pus in some instances. These will typically occur in areas where the body has hair, like the armpits or groin. They can also occur at the site of a cut, scrape or other open wound.
The results can be much more serious when a staph or MRSA infection occurs inside the body, such as at the site of a surgery. Bloodstream infections or pneumonia can occur, as well as other problems. Symptoms and complications can vary widely.
MRSA and other staph infections can sometimes be avoided with good hygiene practices. Wash hands frequently, clean and cover wounds properly and avoid sharing items with other people. In health-care settings, infection-control practices that every facility should be following can help prevent such infections from occurring.
People with MRSA or another staph infection need to be under a doctor's care. The infection would be treated with regular incisions (cutting the infected area) and draining of the pus. Antibiotics may also be prescribed in certain situations. Though MRSA is resistant to some antibiotics, other forms of antibiotics can sometimes be used to treat it effectively.
SOURCES: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention