Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size

Drug-Resistant Staph Is Here!

MRSA Bacteria Now Most Common Skin Infection Seen in Urban ERs
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Aug. 16, 2006 - Drug-resistant staph is now the most common skin infection seen in city emergency rooms, a nationwide study finds.

And the drug resistant germ is no longer linked to just special risk groups, such as prisoners and athletes.

Known as community acquired MRSAMRSA -- methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus -- it's now truly out there in U.S. communities.

UCLA researchers Gregory J. Moran, MD, David Talan, MD, and colleagues, looked at 422 people who showed up in 11 city emergency rooms with skin or soft tissue infections in August 2004.

Despite the current prevalence of MRSA, more than half the patients -- 57% -- were initially treated with antibiotics that don't kill the bacteria.

"Doctors need to change what they've done for decades," Talan said in a news release. "Traditional antibiotics don't work against MRSA."

Fortunately, there are several antibiotics still effective against drug-resistant staph. And even without antibiotics, many people get better after having their boils or abscesses cut open and drained.

The study appears in the Aug. 17 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

Spider Bite? Not

People with MRSA skin infections often think a spider has bitten them. That's because the infection often starts out as a painful red swelling, soon becoming a pus-leaking boil or abscess.

That pus is full of MRSA bugs. It's a very contagious infection.

It's easy to spread MRSA from one part of the body to another -- or from one person to another.

So it comes as no surprise the things MRSA-infected patients most often have in common is close contact with someone else with an MRSA infection, or having had one before.

Other common risks: reporting a "spider bite" and haven taken an antibiotic in the last month.

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing