People at Risk of Acquiring MRSA Infections
MRSA infections can occur in any geographic location and anywhere on a person’s body and can affect anyone. Historically, MRSA infections occurred in hospitalized patients, but now these infections are common in the community. The biggest risk factor for MRSA infection is open or broken skin (such as a wound or surgical site); however, MRSA infections can occur even on areas of the skin where there is no obvious wound or break in the skin.
Patients in healthcare facilities have weakened immune systems and undergo procedures (such as surgery) or have catheters inserted into the skin that make it easier for MRSA to get into the body. It is for this reason that healthcare personnel must follow infection control procedures (such as hand hygiene and proper catheter care) to prevent patients from acquiring MRSA infections. When patients get MRSA in healthcare facilities, the infections tend to be severe. Common infections include surgical wound infections, urinary tract infections, bloodstream infections, and pneumonia.
Visitors of Infected Patients
When visiting MRSA patients, individuals should follow the facility’s visitor policies. Casual contact—such as kissing, hugging, and touching—is usually acceptable. Visitors should avoid touching catheters or wound sites and should wash their hands before leaving an infected person's room.
MRSA in the community is widespread and therefore, anyone is at risk. Most people who get MRSA in the community get infections of the skin. Factors that have been associated with the spread of MRSA skin infections include: close skin-to-skin contact, openings in the skin such as cuts or abrasions, contaminated items and surfaces, crowded living conditions, and poor hygiene. People may be more at risk in locations where these factors are common, including: athletic facilities, dormitories, military barracks, correctional facilities, and daycare centers.
Although rare, severe infections such as pneumonia following flu can occur in the community. More about MRSA and Flu...