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Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus

In hospitals, MRSA is one of the most recognised superbugs around. This type of infection gets into the body through breaks in the skin causing an abscess, boils, impetigo and if it gets into the bloodstream, blood poisoning. It is very difficult to treat with antibiotics because by definition, it is a bacterium which has developed resistance to certain types of antibiotics, meaning it can be deadly to infected individuals.

The bacterium can be carried on a healthy person their knowledge and with no symptoms. However, when in hospital a patient's immune system is weaker, making them prone to infection and contracting MRSA as a result. The mortality rate for an infected person with MRSA is 35%.


Symptoms of MRSA depend on which part of the body becomes infected. If you have an open wound watch for redness, swelling and pus as they are highly susceptible to contracting MRSA.

Bloodstream infection

If MRSA bacteria enter into the bloodstream it can affect almost any part of the body. The infection causes the following symptoms:

  • Blood poisoning
  • Septic shock
  • Septic arthritis
  • Bone marrow infections
  • Abscesses deep within the body
  • Meningitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Infection of the heart lining


Antibiotics are normally given to treat MRSA however, they have to be chosen very carefully to ensure that they can treat the infection and will usually require treatment in hospital. A private room maybe needed to stop the spread of the bacteria to other patients and some may need to continue treatment at home for several more weeks.

MRSA doesn't harm healthy people, for instance it doesn't harm pregnant women or children, providing they are fit and healthy. If you are in hospital you can still have visitors but they need to ensure they wash their hands thoroughly before and after.

Find out more about Superbugs caught in Hospitals

This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such. Please read our medical disclaimer.