How Long Does MRSA Live on Environmental Surfaces?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 26, 2020 1:38:26 AM ET

The amount of time MRSA survives on an environmental surface varies, but the bacteria can live for up to nine weeks on the surface of a cotton towel. MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, an infection caused by bacteria that have developed a resistance to antibiotics.

The bacteria responsible for MRSA infections are able to survive for up to seven months on dust, up to eight weeks on a mop head and up to 203 days on a blanket.

Hospital patients sometimes develop MRSA infections after having invasive procedures or being exposed to intravenous tubing. Another type of MRSA infection, community-associated MRSA, develops in people who are otherwise healthy. The infection is spread by skin-to-skin contact between community members.