MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a bacteria, which has mutated to become resistant to a wide range of antibiotics. This makes infections with this bacterium more difficult to treat than other bacterial infections. Because it is more difficult to treat, MRSA is often classed as a super-bug.
While MRSA can cause relatively mild skin infections, it can also cause more severe infections especially in vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, those living with chronic conditions and the acutely unwell and new-born babies.
MRSA infections are more prevalent in hospitals and nursing homes as there is often an entry point into the body such as surgical wound. The elderly, sick and recovering patients don’t always have such strong defences against infection through a weakened immune system and often come into contact with many people allowing bacteria and infection to spread if good hygiene practices are not followed.
Symptoms vary depending on where the MRSA infection is in the body and it can be life-threatening and life-impacting in the most extreme cases.