Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)


Statutory notification alert

Public health management

Important information

  • Infectious agent: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
  • Transmission:  Person to person by direct contact with another person with a purulent lesion or purulent discharge or from a person with asymptomatic carriage (colonisation). Auto infection is also common.
  • Incubation period:  Variable and indefinite.
  • Infectious period: As long as purulent lesions continue to drain or the carrier state persists.
  • Case exclusion: See recommended exclusion for healthcare workers in OD0478/13 (external site)
  • Contact exclusion: Do not exclude.
  • Treatment: Antibiotic treatment as recommended by the doctor.
  • Immunisation: None available.
  • Case follow-up: Is conducted by hospitals, Public Health Units (Healthy WA) and the Communicable Disease Control Directorate as required.

Public health action

Information for GPs and other healthcare providers 

Management in Healthcare facilities

Notifiable disease data and reports

MRSA is a notifiable condition via laboratory notification in WA. Private and public laboratories are required to forward isolates of MRSA to the PathWest Gram Positive Typing laboratory for further characterisation and reporting.  MRSA surveillance data are therefore reported separately to other notifiable disease data.

The latest MRSA epidemiology and typing report is detailed in the Western Australian methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Vancomycin resistant Enterococcus (VRE) epidemiology and typing report (PDF 1.16MB).

Last reviewed: 17-01-2019
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