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What is MRSA?

ANSWER

MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It's one of many strains of a bacterium called Staphylococcus aureus -- or staph, for short. Staph bacteria are common on skin and inside nostrils. Staph infection was first reported in humans more than 40 years ago.

In the past, staph rarely caused problems, except for minor skin infections. And these infections could be treated effectively with antibiotics. But in recent years, there's been a big increase in antibiotic-resistant strains of staph infection, such as MRSA, even in children. These resistant strains used to be seen mainly in hospitalized patients or chronically ill patients. Now it's found in healthy people, including children. For example, head and neck MRSA infections in children more than doubled during a five-year period.

It's important to know how to help prevent MRSA in children and what to do if you think your child has it.

From: MRSA and Staph Infections in Children WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Nemours Foundation: "Should I Worry About MRSA?"

Naseri, I. , January 2009. Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery

American Medical Association: "Study notes continued MRSA upsurge in kids' ENT infections."

Milstone, A.M. . April 2010. Emerging Infectious Diseases

CDC: "FAQs: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Schools;" "About MRSA Skin Infections;" "Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Schools;" "National MRSA Education Initiative: Preventing MRSA Skin Infections;" and "MRSA Fact Sheet for Early Childhood Care and Education Professionals."

Cincinnati Children's: "Oxacillin Resistant Staph aureus (ORSA) - Methicillin Resistant Staph aureus (MRSA)."

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on June 13, 2017

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

SOURCES:

Nemours Foundation: "Should I Worry About MRSA?"

Naseri, I. , January 2009. Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery

American Medical Association: "Study notes continued MRSA upsurge in kids' ENT infections."

Milstone, A.M. . April 2010. Emerging Infectious Diseases

CDC: "FAQs: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Schools;" "About MRSA Skin Infections;" "Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Schools;" "National MRSA Education Initiative: Preventing MRSA Skin Infections;" and "MRSA Fact Sheet for Early Childhood Care and Education Professionals."

Cincinnati Children's: "Oxacillin Resistant Staph aureus (ORSA) - Methicillin Resistant Staph aureus (MRSA)."

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on June 13, 2017

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