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MRSA Infection (cont.)

What Causes a MRSA Infection?

MRSA bacteria can be transmitted by direct (though skin and body fluids) and indirect contact (from towels, diapers, and toys) to uninfected people. Also, some individuals have MRSA on their body (on their skin or in their nose or throat) but show no symptoms of infection; these people are termed MRSA carriers (see above) and can transmit MRSA to others. Statistics show that CA-MRSA is the predominant MRSA type found in the population. Most carriers are best detected by culturing MRSA from nasal swabs.

How Common Is MRSA?

Less than 2% of the U.S. population is colonized with MRSA, and these people are called MRSA carriers. The proportion of health care-associated Staphylococcal infections that are due to MRSA (known as hospital-associated MRSA or HA-MRSA) rapidly increased from 2% in intensive-care units in 1974 to 64% in 2004. Approximately 126,000 hospitalizations are due to MRSA yearly. Recent data suggest that MRSA causes a large percentage of all skin and soft-tissue infections. Invasive (serious) MRSA infections occur in approximately 94,000 people each year and are associated with approximately 19,000 deaths, reportedly more deaths than HIV per year. Of these MRSA infections that cause death, about 86% are HA-MRSA and 14% are CA-MRSA (also termed community-acquired MRSA because these MRSA infections are acquired outside health care settings). The CDC has recently reported a decline in reported MRSA infections; HA-MRSA has dropped by about 28% and CA-MRSA had dropped %17. These drops may be due to increased public awareness and utilization of methods to avoid transmitting these bacteria to other people.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/20/2016

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Staphylococcal Infections »

Staphylococcal infections are usually caused by the organism Staphylococcus aureus.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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