Fact Sheets




Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) causes infections that are resistant to the antibiotics typically used to treat infections. MRSA has most commonly been spread in healthcare facilities from unclean hands, linens, or medical equipment. Patients who have invasive procedures that compromised the skin (e.g., catheter placement) are at higher risk. MRSA infections of the skin can also be community-acquired among people who spend a lot of time in close quarters (e.g., military, sports teams, prisoners, etc.).

• MRSA can be carried by people. On rare
occasions, even those without infections
can spread MRSA through skin contact to
others who are susceptible.

• The ongoing opioid epidemic may be
connected with increasing infections.
Those who inject drugs are 16x more likely
to develop invasive MRSA infections than
others. (CDC)

• MRSA cells may be able to persist on
surfaces for weeks which can lead to
transmission unless effective cleaning and
disinfection is conducted.


MRSA most often causes skin infections with redness, swelling, pain,
and drainage, but it can progress to bloodstream infections,
pneumonia, or sepsis that can lead to death.


1. Prevention relies on a combination of measures such as:
• Effective handwashing, and cleaning the body with soap and water after exercising.
• Cleaning and covering cuts and scrapes until they are healed.
• Avoiding the sharing of personal items (e.g., towels, razors, etc.).

2. EPA provides a list of registered disinfecting products that are known to be effective against
MRSA. Use these products according to the label directions. (EPA)

3. Antimicrobial soap, such as chlorhexidine, may be recommended by healthcare providers for use on skin (e.g., before invasive medical procedures).

4. In healthcare settings, contact precautions may be recommended. These include donning PPE,
including gowns and gloves, and using disposable single-use or patient/resident-dedicated
noncritical care equipment (e.g., blood pressure cuffs and stethoscopes).

5. Alternate antibiotics may be effective against MRSA inf

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