What is MRSA and how can it affect me? Staphylococcus aureus (“staph”) is a germ that often lives in the nose or on the skin of healthy people. MRSA, short for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a type of staph germ that is resistant to certain antibiotics. In the community, most MRSA infections are skin infections (pustules, boils) that may be: • Mistaken for spider bites • Red, swollen, painful, warm to the touch, and have pus or other drainage • Accompanied by a fever To learn more about MRSA, visit www.cdc.gov/mrsa Can MRSA be spread at recreational water facilities? MRSA does not survive long in pools and other treated swimming places (for example, hot tubs/spas) that have proper disinfectant (chlorine) and pH levels. There have been no reports of MRSA spreading through contact with recreational water. However, MRSA can be spread at recreational water facilities and other places by direct and indirect contact with infected persons. Direct contact can happen when you touch another person’s MRSA infection. Indirect contact can happen when you share items (like towels or razors) or touch surfaces (like hand rails or locker room benches) contaminated with MRSA. MRSA is most likely to spread when it comes into contact with an uncovered cut or scrape.