How Long Does MRSA Live on Environmental Surfaces?

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.