April 15th, 2010
11:55 AM ET

How dangerous is MRSA?

As a feature of CNNhealth.com, our team of expert doctors will answer readers' questions. Here's a question for Dr. Gupta.

From Kathleen

“If a person was found to have MRSA cluster in the nose while in the hospital but not given anything for it, how dangerous is it to be around this person and for how long? I was wondering why they didn't give her the antibiotic for it – everything I read on line seems to lean towards MRSA as a ‘forever’ thing. Please help us to know the facts – I worry about my two very young grandchildren catching it if I get it. Thank you so much!”


It is tough to give a definitive answer to your question, Kathleen, without knowing more about why the culture was done and whether there were signs of an actual MRSA infection. To help answer your question, a little background about MRSA might help.

MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant staphylcoccus aureus.

"Staph aureus is ubiquitous, it is everywhere," said Dr. Gregory Moran, of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center.

Staph bacteria are very common and do not pose a big threat to most healthy people. In fact, we are exposed to staph on a daily basis. About one-third of us are walking around right now with the bacteria in our nose, and it is not affecting our health, according to Moran.

Keep in mind that there are different strains of MRSA out there. Your concern may stem from the more aggressive strains of MRSA we hear about in community settings – the strains that have proven fatal for some in prisons or among athletes. Those MRSA strains are genetically more toxic than what is typically encountered in hospitals, in addition to being resistant to some of the antibiotics we have to fight them. They most often cause skin infections, but in rare cases the bacteria can penetrate to internal organs, causing an otherwise healthy person to become very ill, and in some cases die.

Hospital-acquired MRSA strains are less dangerous to healthy individuals, but testing for them is common to avoid spreading infection among hospitalized patients with weakened immune systems or during operations. The strain of MRSA that was most likely found in this hospitalized patient would not be expected to cause problems at home. A non-aggressive strain usually would not require an antibiotic, and usually is not dangerous to healthy people.

And that brings us back to the most critical part of your question, Kathleen. Will this MRSA strain detected at the hospital harm your grandchildren? The likelihood is extremely low, however, be on the alert for the telltale first sign of a MRSA infection: a painful skin lesion resembling a pimple or a spider bite. If it crops up for you or your grandchildren, go see your doctor.

soundoff (686 Responses)
  1. 2006 Sprinter Transmion Repair


    May 30, 2021 at 23:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Social Media Marketing Service

    I wanted to thank you for this good read!! I definitely loved every bit of it. I have you saved as a favorite to check out new stuff you postÖ


    May 31, 2021 at 00:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. RV Repair Service Near Me


    May 31, 2021 at 00:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RV Awning Repair Near Me


    May 31, 2021 at 01:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. RV Camper Repair Near Me

    After I initially left a comment I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there a means you are able to remove me from that service? Kudos!


    May 31, 2021 at 01:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Digital Marketing Companies

    An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment. I do think that you should publish more on this topic, it might not be a taboo matter but typically folks don't speak about such issues. To the next! Best wishes!!


    May 31, 2021 at 05:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Sprinter Van Repair

    I seriously love your site.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you create this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m wanting to create my own personal website and would like to know where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Many thanks!


    May 31, 2021 at 05:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Release Clip Repair On Mercedes Sprinter Seat

    This is a topic that is close to my heart... Many thanks! Where are your contact details though?


    May 31, 2021 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. 2006 Sprinter Climate Control Repair


    May 31, 2021 at 18:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Dodge Sprinter Repair Near Me

    Good information. Lucky me I recently found your website by chance (stumbleupon). I've saved as a favorite for later!


    May 31, 2021 at 20:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Mercedes Benz Sprinter Service Locations


    May 31, 2021 at 21:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Transport Van Repair Shop Near Me

    Right here is the perfect site for everyone who really wants to find out about this topic. You understand so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a topic that has been written about for many years. Excellent stuff, just wonderful!


    June 1, 2021 at 09:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Van Mechanic

    Howdy! This post could not be written any better! Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I'll send this post to him. Pretty sure he will have a very good read. Thanks for sharing!


    June 1, 2021 at 10:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Van Conversion Shop Near Me

    Your style is really unique compared to other people I have read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I'll just book mark this blog.


    June 1, 2021 at 11:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. oc furniture yorba linda


    June 1, 2021 at 12:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. rv maintenance videos


    June 1, 2021 at 12:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Branden Botwinick


    June 1, 2021 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Candis Michelena


    June 1, 2021 at 15:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Jeanett Breitmeyer


    June 1, 2021 at 20:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Aileen Stocki


    June 2, 2021 at 04:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Kraig Wearing

    I blog frequently and I really appreciate your content. This article has truly peaked my interest. I will bookmark your site and keep checking for new details about once a week. I subscribed to your Feed too.


    June 2, 2021 at 08:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Ray Wakefield

    Everything is very open with a very clear explanation of the issues. It was truly informative. Your site is extremely helpful. Thanks for sharing!


    June 2, 2021 at 08:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. car wraps orange county


    June 2, 2021 at 10:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. trailer repair places near me


    June 2, 2021 at 11:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Mallory Kopera


    June 2, 2021 at 12:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Isabella Tretera

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article! It's the little changes which will make the most significant changes. Thanks for sharing!


    June 2, 2021 at 19:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Video Marketing Services

    Excellent blog you've got here.. Itís hard to find high quality writing like yours nowadays. I truly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!


    June 2, 2021 at 20:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Gil Marschall


    June 2, 2021 at 21:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. rv solar installation near me


    June 3, 2021 at 03:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Center Los Angeles


    June 3, 2021 at 04:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Social Media Marketing Service


    June 3, 2021 at 04:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Digital Marketing Near Me


    June 3, 2021 at 05:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. collision experts fargo


    June 3, 2021 at 08:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. oc towing company

    That is a very good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate information… Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!


    June 3, 2021 at 14:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Sprinter Mechanic Near Me

    Good article. I absolutely appreciate this website. Keep writing!


    June 3, 2021 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. rv repair shop

    This blog was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Thank you!


    June 3, 2021 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. 2500 Sprinter Van Repair


    June 3, 2021 at 22:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Internet Marketing Firm

    Great post. I'm facing a few of these issues as well..


    June 3, 2021 at 23:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. rv remodel companies

    This is a topic that is close to my heart... Best wishes! Where are your contact details though?


    June 4, 2021 at 00:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. how to repair a slide out on a travel trailer


    June 4, 2021 at 00:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. rv parts close to me


    June 4, 2021 at 07:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Mercedes Benz Sprinter Rv Service Locations


    June 4, 2021 at 10:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. tire shops near me

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this article plus the rest of the site is very good.


    June 4, 2021 at 10:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Chevy G20 Van Repair


    June 4, 2021 at 11:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. bus body shop


    June 4, 2021 at 15:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. awnings orange county ca

    I seriously love your blog.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you make this web site yourself? Please reply back as Iím planning to create my own personal blog and would love to learn where you got this from or what the theme is named. Cheers!


    June 4, 2021 at 22:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. joann fabrics near me

    Can I just say what a relief to uncover an individual who actually understands what they're discussing on the web. You definitely realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people really need to check this out and understand this side of your story. It's surprising you're not more popular given that you most certainly possess the gift.


    June 4, 2021 at 22:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Sprinter Van Hard To Repair Van


    June 4, 2021 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Ecu Repair Shop For Sprinter Van

    Hello! I could have sworn Iíve visited your blog before but after browsing through a few of the posts I realized itís new to me. Anyways, Iím definitely happy I discovered it and Iíll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!


    June 4, 2021 at 23:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. rv painters

    This is a topic that is close to my heart... Cheers! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    June 4, 2021 at 23:43 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Leave a Reply to RV Restoration Orange County


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.