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Lung diseases

How MRSA is Passed

09/08/2010

Question:

Can a healthy person be a carrier of the mrsa (virus) without knowing it?

Answer:

MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus (or Staph) aureus. It is a bacterium that is resistant to the main set of antibiotics used to treat most Staph infections. It is passed from one person to another by contact (direct, such as touching, or indirect, for instance through an object). However, not everyone who encounters MRSA will be a carrier. In addition, someone may be a carrier without knowing it; that is, not everyone who is a carrier will develop an infection with MRSA. This is why many hospitals emphasize hand hygiene (particularly with alcohol-based hand rubs). Hope this helps. 

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Response by:

John A Davis, PhD, MD
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine
Associate Dean for Medical Education
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University