Staphylococcus aureus,"staph," are bacteria found throughout our environment and commonly carried on the skin or in the nose of healthy people. Approximately 25%to 30% of the population is colonized (when bacteria are present, but not causing an infection) in the nose with staph bacteria.
Sometimes, staph can cause an infection. Staph bacteria are one of the most common causes of skin infections in the United States. Most of these skin infections are minor (such as pimples and boils) and can be treated without antibiotics. However, staph bacteria also can cause serious infections or invasive infections such as surgical wound infections, bloodstream infections, and pneumonia.
In the 1960's the antibiotic methicillin was commonly used to treat Staph infections. This lead to the development of strains of Staph-MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) that are resistant to methicillin as well as other antibiotics such as oxacillin, penicillin, amoxacillin. While 25% to 30% of the population is colonized with staph, approximately 1% is colonized with MRSA.
MRSA fact sheet English
MRSA (SARM) fact sheet Spanish
IDPH - MRSA
IDPH - HYGIENE
IDPH - SCHOOL STAPH PRACTICES
IDPH - MRSA SCHOOL RECOMMENDATIONS
CDC - MRSA IN SCHOOLS
Communicable Disease Main Page
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