A culture of the suspected infected areas may be sent to the lab to identify the bacteria and test for effective antibiotics. When the S. aureus is resistant to methicillin, then MRSA is diagnosed.
MRSA is commonly spread by direct contact. This means MRSA is often spread by the hands. Most hospitals, including National Jewish Health®, take special precautions (Contact Precautions) to prevent the spread of MRSA from one patient to the next.
Since MRSA is resistant to many antibiotics used to treat S. aureus, other antibiotics must be used. These may include oral or intravenous antibiotics. Even when the infection is treated MRSA is often still present on the skin or in the nose. This is why isolation is required during future hospital stays.