Staph vs MRSA – What’s the Difference?
The differences between MRSA versus Staph are significant when it comes to antibiotics and infection control. The key differences listed below play a big role in treatment effectiveness and how quickly a person recovers. In many other ways however, the differences can be minimal between these two infections.
How they are alike
- The symptoms of MRSA vs Staph are very similar. MRSA can be more virulent and more invasive than Staph. The rare and deadly form of these infections called “flesh eating disease” (necrotizing fasciitis) is more commonly caused by MRSA rather than Staph.
- How MRSA and Staph look in photos are also nearly identical. Because they look so alike, the best way to tell them apart is to get tested.
- Both of these infections are also contagious and can easily spread from person to person or from contaminated surfaces.
- The most effectively used alternative remedies can work equally well for both Staph and MRSA. The lack of resistance issues with most natural and alternative therapies is one of their big benefits.
- MRSA and Staph are the same species of bacteria. MRSA (short for Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) is just a special kind of Staph (short for Staphylococcus aureus, or more commonly Staph aureus). The main differences between the two are listed below.
- The big difference between Staph and MRSA is with antibiotic treatments. MRSA is resistant to most common drugs but Staph is much less resistant. This is an important difference if you choose to take antibiotics for your infection. MRSA also tends to result in longer, more expensive hospital stays than Staph.
- Staph is more common than MRSA. Around a third of the people in the U.S. are carriers of Staph bacteria on their skin while less than 5% carry MRSA. Staph bacteria are found in many places and are a natural part of the environment. Thankfully, MRSA is still mostly confined to hospitals and healthcare environments but it has been growing rapidly in the community over the last decade or so.
- MRSA can be harder to kill on surfaces than Staph. For some disinfectants, such as silver-based products, the kill time for MRSA can be two or three times the kill time for Staph aureus.