Most staph germs are spread by skin-to-skin contact (touching). A doctor, nurse, other health care provider, or visitors may have staph germs on their body that can spread to a patient.
Once the staph germ enters the body, it can spread to bones, joints, the blood, or any organ, such as the lungs, heart, or brain.
Serious staph infections are more common in people with a weakened immune system. This includes patients who:
- Are in hospitals and long-term care facilities for a long time
- Are on kidney dialysis (hemodialysis)
- Receive cancer treatment or medicines that weaken their immune system
- Inject illegal drugs.
- Had surgery in the past year
MRSA infections can also occur in healthy people who have not recently been in the hospital. Most of these MRSA infections are on the skin or less commonly lung infections. People who may be at risk are:
- Athletes and other people who may share items such as towels or razors
- Children in day-care
- Members of the military
- People who have gotten tattoos