What is MRSA?

Friday, health officials confirmed a Bibb County student has the drug resistant staph infection.

The infection has caused serious illness and even death nationwide.

At the root of MRSA is staphylococcus (staf-uh-low-kah-kus) aureus, better known as staph.

It's a very common type of bacteria that most often causes minor skin infections, but can cause more serious illnesses like pneumonia.

MRSA, short for methicillin resistant staph aureus, is a type of staph that has become resistant to the most common class of antibiotics used to treat the infections.

Antibiotics still work, although there are fewer options for MRSA.

That is bad news for cases that spread to the blood and bones.

The germs are most often spread through direct physical contact, or in some cases contact with contaminated surfaces.

In healthy people, MRSA often doesn't cause an infection, or if it does, like staph it's usually a bump or boil on the skin.

People who are sick or who have a weakened immune system are most susceptible to infection, which is why hospitals are a popular breeding ground.

Prevention is the best strategy against the super bug, so lather up and wash your hands!

the Center for Disease Control says frequent hand-washing and surface cleaning are among the most effective way to stop staph.

When a new case is reported in a school, good hygiene and keeping the wound covered are often enough to prevent the germ from spreading.