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Student Health Services

MRSA and Staph Infections

Staph bacteria are one of the most common causes of skin infections in the United States. Most of these skin infections are minor such as pimples or boils and can be treated without antibiotics. However, staph bacteria can also cause serious infections, including those resistant to antibiotics, also known as MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus).

Although most staph infections, including MRSA, occur most frequently in persons in hospitals, the infection can also be transmitted in settings outside hospitals and are referred to as community acquired MRSA.

MRSA in the community usually manifests as a skin infection such as a pimple or boil and worsens rapidly.

Staph infections and MRSA can be prevented by practicing good hygiene.

  • Wash hands thoroughly using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed.
  • Avoid contact with other people's wounds or bandages.
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as towels or razors.