Prevention of MRSA

The following precautions can help prevent the spread of staph infections, including MRSA:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Remove rings while washing the hands.
  • Keep fingernails trimmed.
  • Keep all cuts and scrapes clean and bandaged until they are fully healed.
  • Avoid contact with other people's cuts, scrapes, and bandages.
  • Do not share personal items, such as wash cloths, towels, or razors.
  • Clean and disinfect shared equipment (e.g., exercise machines) before using.
  • Wash clothing and linens in water and laundry detergent and dry in a clothes dryer, if possible.
  • Health care providers should wash their hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before having contact with a patient.
  • Use all prescribed antibiotics exactly as directed.
  • Contact a health care provider immediately if you suspect you have a staph infection.

To help control the spread of MRSA, some medical facilities are using devices (e.g., catheters, surgical instruments) that are coated with antibiotics. Other prevention measures used in hospitals include wearing gloves and surgical masks when in contact with patients. Many schools and workplaces are creating new policies and procedures to help reduce the spread of MRSA infection.

In September 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new recommendations advising all nursing homes to improve antibiotic prescribing practices and reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics to decrease the risk for antibiotic-resistant infections in residents. A new resource, called Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship for Nursing Homes, provides practical ways for nursing homes to begin or expand antibiotic stewardship activities, including examples of how antibiotic use can be monitored and improved by nursing home leadership and staff.

Updated by Remedy Health Media

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 19 Feb 2008

Last Modified: 15 Sep 2015