"MRSA" stands for "methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus". This means it's a type of staph that's become resistant to the typical antibiotics that are used. A staph infection like this can arise out of just a tiny scratch in the skin, and it tends to look like an insect bite. When our micro lab sees "spider bite" for the diagnosis of a person who's culture we're looking at, we immediately suspect it's MRSA. It's become very common, and it can be hospital-acquired or community-acquired. Most hospitals now screen patients for MRSA by doing a nasal swab to see if they are carriers of MRSA, and if they are, then they're put in isolation to keep it from spreading to other patients. MRSA is treated with vancomycin or trimethoprim sulfate. It's not hard to get rid of, but it can be life-threatening if it infects someone who's immuno-compromised.
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