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Pediatric Staph and MRSA Infection

Key points about MRSA in children

  • MRSA is staph bacteria that can’t be killed with common antibiotics.
  • MRSA is usually limited to the skin. It can be life-threatening if it spreads to the lungs, the bloodstream or other organs. MRSA infection can be harder to treat than other staph infections. But other oral or IV (intravenous) antibiotics can successfully treat the infection.
  • MRSA infections are more common in groups of people that spend a lot of time close together, such as kids on a sports team. MRSA may be on sports equipment and clothing. It may transfer from skin to skin during play.
  • Symptoms include painful red bumps that leak fluid. A child may also have a fever, chills, and headache.
  • If your child has a mild MRSA skin infection, the healthcare provider will likely treat it by opening the infected sore and draining out the fluid (pus). You will likely be given a prescription antibiotic ointment to use on your child. Your child may also need to take antibiotic medicine by mouth.
  • Don't try to treat a MRSA infection on your own. This can spread the infection to other people or make it worse for your child. Cover the infected area, wash your hands, and call your child's healthcare provider.
Children's Team

Children's Team


Roberta DeBiasi

Roberta DeBiasi

Division Chief, Infectious Diseases
Co-Director, Congenital Zika Program
Co-Director, Congenital Infection Program
Investigator, Children's National Research Institute
Alexandra Brugler Yonts

Alexandra Yonts

Director, Post COVID Program
Infectious Diseases Specialist


Infectious Diseases

Our Division of Infectious Diseases is the major referral center for infectious diseases in the Washington, D.C., area, helping thousands of patients each year, and actively promoting prevention through community outreach and education.