Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus(MRSA) is a bacterium responsible for difficult-to-treat infections in humans. 
A 2007 “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” (CDC) report, 
estimated that the number of  MRSA infections treated in hospitals 
doubled nationwide, from approximately 127,000 in 1999 to 278,000 
in 2005, while at the same time deaths increased from 11,000 to more than 17,000.[1]   
Another study estimated that MRSA would have been responsible 
for 94,360 serious infections and associated with 18,650 hospital 
stay-related deaths in the United States in 2005.[2][3] These figures suggest that MRSA infections are responsible for more deaths in the U.S. each year than AIDS.[4]
A 2004 study showed that patients with MRSA infection had, on 
average, 3X the length of hospital stay (14.3 vs. 4.5 days), incurred
3X the total cost ($48,824 vs $14,141), and experienced 5X the risk of in-hospital death (11.2% vs 2.3%) than those without the infection[5]  

MRSA infections occur mostly in hospitals and healthcare facilities. Here, it can survive anywhere. It can be present and transmissible on numerous surfaces throughout the facilities; patient rooms, doors, bathrooms, hallways, banisters, 
elevators. More  dangerously, it can, and does, get carried 
outside by unsuspecting visitors, or even hospital personnel. 
Staph and MRSA illness can also be contracted outside of hospital settings. The name given to this strand of the disease when contracted without exposure to a recently(within 1 year) hospitalized person is CA-MRSA or CommunityAcquired MRSA. These can be manifested as skin infections such as boils or pimples and can occur in otherwise healthy people.
CDC-investigated clusters have shown that the most common factors linked to the spread of CA-MRSA infections include: 
cuts or abrasions, skin-to-skin contact, contaminated items 
and surfaces, crowded living conditions and POOR hygiene.

A newer form of staph infection, known as CA-MRSA (Community-Acquired Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) has appeared with increasing frequency and is now an epidemic within certain community populations.
Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a type of staph that is not killed by penicillin and similar antibiotics. About 1 out of every 100 people carries MRSA without making them sick.  

major difference between the two types of MRSA is that the community form (CA-MRSA) possesses a potent toxin called Panton-Valentine Leukocidin, which attacks infection-fighting white blood cells called leukocytes. The most serious form of CA-MRSA infection causes necrotizing fasciitis, a severe, rapidly progressing and life-threatening skin infection.

How can a person become infected?
CA-MRSA, MRSA & Staph can be spread when a person:
has direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected person,
touches surfaces that have staph on them from someone else’s infection (eg: towels, athletic equipment, used bandages).
These are not usually passed through the air.

When to practice hand-hygiene?

•Whenever the skin comes into contact with other                   people or with shared surfaces or equipment

•Before and after athletic practice, games, or working out

•After sneezing, coughing, blowing or touching the nose

•Before and after touching the eyes, nose, or mouth, or 
  skin that has open sores, boils and skin rashes

•After using the toilet or urinal

•After touching any item soiled with wound fluids, such       as bandages, dressings or bedding

•After cleaning the bathroom, changing your bedding, 
  doing laundry; and before preparing food, eating, or          

If soap and running water is not available and hands do not have visible dirt on them, staph germs can be killed by using an alcohol-based hand cleansers

For more information:

What do Staph and MRSA Infections look like?
Common skin conditions caused by Staph and MRSA may look like any of the following:

- Sores that look and feel like spider bites.                                    (but are not spider bites)
- Red painful bumps under the skin, called boils or                  abscesses.
- A cut that is swollen, hot, and filled with pus.
- Blisters filled with fluid or red skin with a honey-                  colored crust (usually on the face). 
- Red, warm, firm skin area that is painful and getting          
   larger (usually on the legs).

Signs and Symptoms

- Cellulitis - an infection of the skin or the fat and tissue          directly beneath the skin. Usually starts as small red           
- Boils - pus-filled infection in the hair follicles of the skin. 
- Abscesses - collections (one or more) of pus in under the      skin. 
- Carbuncles - infections larger than an abscess, usually       
   with several openings to the skin. 
Impetigo - a skin infection with pus-filled blisters
CA-MRSA Skin Infection
MRSA  abscess
Staphylococcus Infection
How are Staph and MRSA Infections treated?
Some staph skin infections are treated by draining the sores and may not require antibiotics. Draining these sores should be done by a doctor.
If the doctor gives you antibiotics, make sure you take all of the medicine, even if the infection is getting better. Do not share your medicine with anyone else or save it to use at another time.
Call your doctor back if the infection does not get better after a few days. If other people you know or live with get the same infection tell them to go to their doctor.

Preventing MRSA and Staph Infections
Hand-hygiene, including hand washing and the supplemental use of alcohol-based hand 
cleansers is the easiest way to prevent MRSA and Staph Infections.
  • Hospital infections kill 99,000 Americans a year.
  • Most of these deaths are preventable.
  • So why isn't MORE being done to protect patients?