MRSA methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) or "staph",
is a bacterium found in the nose or on the skin of approximately 20-30%
of the U.S. population. It causes diseases ranging from mild to severe
skin and soft tissue infections to more serious invasive diseases such
as blood stream infections, pneumonia and toxic shock syndrome. Although
most infections are treated successfully with antibiotics, some cases
result in significant injury or death.
MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) refers to S.
aureus strains that are resistant to certain antibiotics. MRSA
emerged in U.S. hospitals in the 1960s and is now the most common
drug-resistant organism found in hospital settings. According to
national hospital surveys, MRSA represented two percent of all S.
aureus infections in hospitals in 1975, 35% in 1991, and 64% in
There are two main types of MRSA
- Healthcare-associated (HA) MRSA is found primarily in hospital
patients and long-term care residents.
- Community-associated (CA) MRSA occurs in persons who report no
contact with healthcare facilities.
fact sheet -
MRSA fact sheet -
MRSA patient pamphlet
MRSA frequently asked questions
Information for health professionals
Information for schools
guidelines on multi-drug resistant organisms (Exit DHS)
Department of Health: Skin infections in athletes guidelines (Exit DHS)
Gwen Borlaug, Infection Control Epidemiologist
Wisconsin Division of Public Health
Bureau of Communicable Diseases and Emergency Response
(Phone 608-267-7711) (Fax 608-261-4976)
Local Health Departments - Regional offices - Tribal agencies
March 04, 2014