MRSA stands for methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus. Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that can be found in the nose and on the skin of some people. It can make you sick if it gets into a wound, urine, blood or lungs.
Some strains of staphylococcus aureus have become resistant to methicillin-like antibiotics, such as Nafcillin. This means that these antibiotics will not treat a MRSA infection.
MRSA can spread from one place on your body to another. MRSA is usually spread from person to person through physical contact and cannot be contracted through the air. It can be spread from person to person on the hands of hospital staff, or from items that are used on or by more than one person.
To test for MRSA, a culture is taken by swabbing the patient's nose. Cultures of urine, blood, sputum or cultures taken from a wound may also show that you have MRSA.
The Department of Epidemiology and Infection Control may order the use of a special soap for bathing/showering and the use of an ointment for your nose. Your doctor will order an antibiotic if you have a MRSA infection.