MRSA is spread by contact, according to WebMD. The infection can be transmitted by touching a person who has the bacteria on the skin or by handling items that have the bacteria on them.
It's estimated that 2 percent of the population is either infected with or is a carrier of MRSA, WebMD explains. It is most likely to be found in hospitals or nursing homes. MRSA can begin at an incision site or devices like catheters and feeding tubes.
MRSA is a strain of staph that has become resistant to antibiotics, WebMD reports. The bacteria is easily adaptable, and even newer antibiotics may not cure it. What works on MRSA now may be useless a few years down the road.
The bacteria can infect various parts of the body, WebMD states. Symptoms often depend on where the infection has taken hold. Most commonly, MRSA infections are found on the skin, where it creates boils and sores.
Cases of MRSA in hospitals are on the decline, WebMD says. The percentage of cases dropped from 11 percent in 2011 to 8 percent in 2013.
Community-associated MRSA affects primarily young people who have never been hospitalized, WebMD warns. These skin infections occur in prisons, day cares and military installations, where people have frequent contact and live in close quarters.