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If you think the drug-resistant infectious bacteria MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is just a hospital or nursing home problem — think again. In recent years the stealth-like bacteria, sometimes simply called “staph,” has expanded from people to animals—ranging from pigs and other farm animals to family pets.
The CDC reports about one-third of us have staph in our bodies, mostly on our skin or in the nose, but sometimes in the throat or intestinal tract. At least 1.5% or more of the population have the MRSA strain. MRSA may cause no symptoms or just minor skin problems in healthy people, but can lead to life-threatening infections in hospital patients and others with weakened immune systems.