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Methincillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)


MRSA is a potentially dangerous type of infection caused by a staphylococcus, or staph, bacteria that is resistant to certain types of antibiotics. Staph infections can cause skin infections that look like spider bites, pimples or boils.

Symptoms of an MRSA skin infection can appear as a bump or infected area on the skin that may be red, swollen, painful and warm to the touch. Fever has also been reported by people who have had an MRSA infection. More severe cases can cause chills, fatigue and muscle aches.

Transmission of the infection is caused by close skin-to-skin contact with openings in the skin such as cuts or abrasions, contact with contaminated items and surfaces, poor hygiene and use of improperly sanitized whirlpools and ice baths. Athletes and children are among the groups who may be at increased risk of contracting MRSA.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about MRSA

Is it contagious?
Yes. A person can become infected by coming into contact with an infected person or by sharing personal items, such as towels or razors that have touched infected skin.

How is it diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider may ask you to submit a sample of the wound drainage for testing.

What is the treatment?
Draining the skin sore may be the only treatment needed if the lesion is small. MRSA does not respond to antibiotics normally used to cure staph infections, but some antibiotics, such as Clindamycin, Tetracycline, Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and Linezolid are available for treatment. Hospitalization may be necessary.

To report a possible MRSA infection or for more information, call 214-819-2004

Visit www.cdc.gov/mrsa/ or www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/health/antibiotic_resistance/mrsa/ for more information.

For general questions or for more information about
Dallas County Health and Human Services please call 214-819-2000.

Ganesh Shivaramaiyer
Interim Director
Christopher Perkins, D.O., M.P.H.
Medical Director / Health Authority

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