Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococous Aureus

What is MRSA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a germ that lives on the skin and mucous membranes of healthy people. Occasionally, Staphylococcus aureus can cause an infection. When Staphylococcus aureus develops resistance to certain antibiotics, it is called Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, or MRSA.

What causes MRSA?

Risk factors for MRSA acquisition include invasive procedures, prior treatment with antibiotics, prolonged hospital stay, stay in an intensive care or burn unit, surgical wound infection and close proximity to a colonized person. MRSA can also be transmitted from mother to child through breast milk.

How does MRSA spread?

MRSA is spread from one person to another by contact, usually on the hands of caregivers. MRSA can be present on a person’s hands, either from touching contaminants excreted by the infected person or from touching articles contaminated by the skin of an infected person, such as towels, sheets and wound dressings. MRSA can live on hands and objects in the environment. Mild cases may not require treatment; severe cases may require other antibiotics. 

What precautions are taken to prevent the spread of MRSA ?

Special precautions are taken to stop MRSA from spreading to other patients in the Hospital. These precautions include:

• Single room accommodation • A long-sleeved gown and gloves must be worn by everyone who cares for the patient

• A sign is placed at the patient’s door to remind all who enter about the precautions

• The room and the equipment used in the room are cleaned and disinfected regularly

• Everyone who leaves the patient’s room must clean their hands well

• The patient must clean his or her hands before leaving the room

The patient’s family and visitors should not assist other patients with their personal care, as this may cause the germ to spread. They are also required to wear a gown and gloves while in the patient’s room. Before leaving the room, visitors must remove the gown and gloves and dispose of them in the garbage container and linen hamper. They must then clean their hands.

Hand hygiene is everyone’s responsibility Good hand washing by everyone (healthcare staff, physicians, patients and visitors) is the single-most effective way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases like MRSA and VRE. 

HHHS Commitment

All staff and the Infection Control Dep't of HHHS is committed to the safety of our patients. Good Hand Hygiene practices are an essential part of our day to day routine, and we look for continuous improvement in this endeavour.


Statistics of MRSA at the Haliburton Highlands Health Services:

Counts between 1 - 4 will be posted as < 5, as specified by the MOHLTC reporting guidelines.

MRSA rate at HHHS is 1/1000 patient days.


 Apr 2017 - Jun 2017 
 Jul 2017 - Sep 2017 
 Oct 2017 - Dec 2017 
 Jan 2018 - Mar 2018 
New Cases