Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is a strain of bacteria that no longer responds to antibiotics used to treat regular staph infections. There are two types of MRSA classified according to where the infection is acquired, explains Mayo Clinic.
In the community, MRSA infects otherwise healthy individuals. Community-associated MRSA is spread by direct contact with infected individuals or by contact with contaminated objects. CA-MRSA affects young individuals with an average age of 23. It is often seen in those who are in close quarters, such as military recruits or inmates. Athletes with increased skin-to-skin contact are also at risk, explains WebMD. Hospital-acquired MRSA is seen in hospitals and nursing homes. It is linked to infection of surgical wounds and indwelling catheters. The rate of HA-MRSA has declined since 2007, while the rate of CA-MRSA has increased. Symptoms associated with MRSA range from small abscesses on the skin to blood and bone infections.
Superficial infections are common on the neck, buttocks and bearded areas. Lesions can be red, swollen and painful. Doctors typically incise and drain an abscess. HA-MRSA infection can involve other symptoms such as rash, chills, fever, shortness of breath, chest pain, muscle pain and malaise. Treatment includes appropriate intravenous antibiotics, according to Healthline.