Ask Dr. Richards

May 2008 Issue

Ask Elizabeth: 05/08

Dear Elizabeth, What is MRSA? My doctor says that a wound on my hand has an MRSA infection. Could my cat, Streets, have given it to me? He is an indoor cat and seems healthy, but could he be a carrier Wow! This calico had to ask for help with your questions! Although I have picked up quite a lot in my role as Official Spokes-cat for the Cornell Feline Health Center, MRSA was new to me. Before giving you all the information I got, I’ll give you the short answer to your questions: MRSA colonization and infection can occur in cats, and transmission across species is possible. Therefore, it is POSSIBLE that your MRSA came from your cat. However, chances are MUCH greater that you were exposed to the bacteria somewhere in the community. In fact, most experts would worry that you could be a source of infection for Streets! Here’s the whole story.

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