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Protect yourself from the MRSA “superbug,” from the Harvard Men's Health Watch

November 1, 2008

At any one time, up to 30% of perfectly healthy people carry the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, which lives in the human nose. In most cases, the bugs are harmless, but an antibiotic-resistant form of S. aureus is becoming more common. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus, or MRSA, can be difficult to treat, but there are ways to avoid infection, reports the November 2008 issue of Harvard Men's Health Watch.

S. aureus can lead to pneumonia if it gets into the lungs. It can cause boils, abscesses, or serious infections of the skin and underlying tissues. It can even invade the bloodstream to cause life-threatening illness. Fortunately, these major infections are uncommon.

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