What is Vancomycin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA)?
Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium commonly carried on the skin and within the nose of people. The bacteria can sometimes cause infections such as boils or pneumonia. Over time, the wide-spread use of antibiotics has led some S. aureus to become more resistant to these medicines. While most S. aureus are still susceptible to the antibiotic vancomycin, some (called “Vancomycin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus,” or VRSA) have developed resistance. Who gets VRSA? VRSA is extremely rare – only a few cases have been documented in the US. Individuals who would get VRSA would likely have: • Underlying health conditions (e.g., diabetes, kidney disease) • Previous infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) – Catheters (e.g., intravenous [IV] lines) • Exposure to vancomycin and other antibiotics Can VRSA be spread from person-to-person? S. aureus spread occurs by close physical contact with infected persons or materials that may carry the organism (e.g., bandages). What