MRSA is the acronym for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It causes an infection that is resistant to several common antibiotics.
There are two types of MRSA infection. Hospital-associated MRSA affects patients who have received care within the past year in a healthcare facility such as a hospital, ambulatory surgery center, nursing home or dialysis center. Community-associated MRSA can be transmitted outside of the healthcare community to otherwise healthy people who are exposed to the bacteria. Many times athletes involved in football and/or wrestling may become infected through direct contract with another infected athlete or by coming into contact with the bacteria on a mat or piece of equipment.
"Most people are aware of the risk for infection associated with hospitals, ambulatory settings, and long-term care. But what about the dental office? Patients who seek dental healthcare could easily, even unknowingly, be carriers of MRSA or another multiple drug-resistant organism (MDRO). When taking clinical history prior to treating dental patients, staff rarely ask about infectious diseases, and many patients who are colonized with MDROs are asymptomatic, leaving dental staff in the dark with respect to the exposure risk to themselves or to other patients. The risk to immunocompromised patients could be even greater.”