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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have become a major concern for public health officials and health care providers. These bacteria, sometimes called "superbugs", are no longer able to be killed by the antibiotics that were commonly used to treat them. Once mainly a problem limited to health care facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes, there is mounting evidence that antibiotic-resistant bacteria are causing serious infections in community settings. (Source: NJDOH arrow icon)

MRSA Bacteria
Produced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), this digitally-colorized, scanning electron microscopic (SEM) image depicts four green-colored, spheroid-shaped, methicillin-resistant, Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria, as they were in the process of being enveloped by a much larger, human white blood cell. The bacteria are members of a MRSA strain, by the name of MRSA252, which is a leading cause of hospital-associated infections in the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Image: CDC Public Health Image Library arrow icon

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a type of bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics.

The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advises:

  • Keep your hands clean by washing thoroughly with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  • Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed.
  • Avoid contact with other people's wounds or bandages.
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as towels or razors.

You need to know...

Antimicrobial Resistance arrow icon (NJDOH).  NJDOH website is dedicated to providing New Jersey's residents, health care providers, institutional professionals, and public health officials with the information and tools needed to promote careful antibiotic use, conduct surveillance, and provide education on this growing public health threat.

Brochure, Good Reasons to Take your Pills Correctly! arrow icon (NJDOH). You have been given antibiotic medication to treat an infection caused by bacteria. It is very important to take the antibiotics EXACTLY as prescribed.

Community Associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) arrow icon (CDC).  MRSA infections that are acquired by persons who have not been recently (within the past year) hospitalized or had a medical procedure (such as dialysis, surgery, catheters) are known as CA-MRSA infections. Staph or MRSA infections in the community are usually manifested as skin infections, such as pimples and boils, and occur in otherwise healthy people.

Community-Associated MRSA Information for Clinicians arrow icon (CDC).  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received inquiries about infections with antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (including methicillin-resistant S. aureus [MRSA]) among persons who have no apparent contact with the healthcare system. This fact sheet addresses some of the most frequently asked questions.

Community-Associated MRSA Information for the Public  arrow icon(CDC).  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received inquiries about infections with antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (including methicillin-resistant S. aureus [MRSA]) among persons who have no apparent contact with the healthcare system. This fact sheet addresses some of the most frequently asked questions.

Healthcare-Associated MRSA arrow icon (CDC). Staph infections, including MRSA, occur most frequently among persons in hospitals and healthcare facilities (such as nursing homes and dialysis centers) who have weakened immune systems.

MRSA Education Material arrow icon (CDC).  These materials contain prevention and control messages related to infectious diseases such as MRSA including a series of educational posters and an information sheet for patients who are diagnosed with an MRSA infection.

Public Health Fact Sheet arrow icon (CDC).  Anyone can get MRSA skin infections. They are more common among hospital patients, people in long term care facilities like nursing homes and prisons. Antibiotic-resistant infections are becoming more common in the community. The infections occur among children and care givers in day care centers, athletes and people who inject "street" drugs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) arrow icon (NJDOH).  What is Staphylococcus aureus? What are antibiotics? What is MRSA? Why is MRSA a serious public health threat? Who gets MRSA skin infections? How is MRSA spread? Can I get a staph or MRSA infection at my gym/health club? Can MRSA skin infections be treated? How can I prevent staph or MRSA infections? What should I do if I think I have a staph or MRSA infection? What can I do to prevent others from getting infected? Is it possible that my staph or MRSA skin infection will come back after it is treated?

MRSA for Professionals

Correctional Facilities arrow icon (NJDOH)
Schools/Colleges arrow icon (NJDOH)
Healthcare Facilities arrow icon (NJDOH)

Athletes take note...

Brochure, Preventing Skin Infections in School and Athletic Settings arrow icon (NJDOH).  Washing hands frequently throughout the day, showering after playing contact sports or using gym equipment, and laundering clothing in hot water will help prevent the spread of MRSA skin infections.

More information from Massachusetts Department of Public Health...

Helpful Reminders about MRSA Infection, Information for Patients arrow icon (MDPH).
Informacion util sobre la infeccion por MRSA. Informacion para los pacientes. arrow icon (MDPH)

Protect Against Skin Infections: Tips for Students and Parents arrow icon (MDPH)
Protejase contra las infecciones cutaneas: Consejos para los estudiantes y sus padres. arrow icon (MDPH)

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (MDPH)
Preguntas y respuestas sobre Staphylococcus aureus resistente a la meticilina Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (MDPH)

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