MRSA is a highly contagious strand of Staphylococcus aureus, according to WebMD. It is spread by touching a person who is infected or carrying the bacteria. Coming into contact with an item touched by the individual can also spread the infection.
The methicillin-resistant bacteria grow on the skin and inside the nostrils, reports WebMD. If it enters the body through a cut, MRSA can cause a mild skin infection. Usually, treatment is not needed for mild cases. If MRSA spreads throughout the body, however, the condition becomes serious. It could cause pneumonia or massive wound infections for which antibiotics are needed.