What is MRSA?
How it's transmitted
It is spread by touch or contact. The pathogen enters the body through breaks in the skin, such as a cut or during surgery. Minor skin infections, such as blisters and boils, are the most common symptom. But the bacteria can develop into serious, even life-threatening, problems such as infections of the heart, blood and bones.
Where people get it
About 85 percent of people infected with MRSA get the germ at a hospital or other health-care facility. MRSA increasingly is spread in the community in such settings as playgrounds or locker rooms.
What you can do
Avoid sharing towels, razors and bar soap. Before having surgery, talk to your doctor about getting a MRSA test. Other preventive measures include washing hands and covering wounds with bandages.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
Seattle Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom describes some of the factors that may have led to the collapse of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River in Mount Vernon on Thursday, May 23.