CA-MRSA (community acquired MRSA) is less common than HA-MRSA (hospital acquired), however it's scarier because it cannot be localized and its symptoms are more severe. It can be contracted in schools, gyms, nursuries, and other public places, surviving on surfaces and fabrics. Recent outbreaks of CA-MRSA appeared in patients who also carry panton-valentine leukocidin (a toxin that affects your white blood cells), which further proves that those with weak immune systems are at higher risk. CA-MRSA often results in abscess formation, which then requires incision and drainage. These abscesses were once thought to be non-contagious, but that has since been proven wrong. MRSA commonly colonizes in the nostrils, respiratory tract, open wounds, and any other natural openings in the body. One positive thing about CA-MRSA is that is has a greater spectrum of antimicrobial susceptibility, reacting to drugs that HA-MRSA doesn't react to.
Patients with compromised immune systems are at significantly greater risk of a secondary infection. According to Betsy McCaughey (founder of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths), MRSA can be detected in asymptomatic patients by a blood test. Screening patients admitted to hospitals has been found to be effective in minimizing the spread of MRSA , combined with extra sanitary measures. Despite these precautions, MRSA is responsible for more than 94,000 serious infections and nearly 19,000 deaths per year in the United States.