How Is MRSA Spread?
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was once primarily found in healthcare facilities, such as hospitals and nursing homes. However, the disease is becoming more common in the general community, posing a serious threat to public health.
Whether the infection is acquired in a hospital setting or in the general community, MRSA is spread by contact with any of the following:
- Someone who has an active infection
- Someone who is a carrier of the infection (colonized)
- A contaminated object.
Although it is more common for MRSA to be spread through direct contact with a contaminated healthcare provider, hospitalized patients may also acquire it from contaminated surfaces. One study showed that things more commonly contaminated in hospital rooms include:
- Bedside rails
- Blood pressure cuffs
- Television remote controls
- Toilet seats.
Community-acquired MRSA can be spread when contaminated personal items from infected individuals are shared. This includes things such as:
- Sporting equipment.
(Click MRSA Transmission to learn about other methods of spreading MRSA. This article also discusses the incubation period once transmission occurs, what "colonization" means, and more.)