Staphylococcus aureus infections are nothing new. Pretty much everyone has this bacterium present on their skin. The "MS" part of MSRA refers to antibiotic resistance genes that seem to spread in hospitals. But basically, any cut or abrasion, any place, any time has the potential to become infected. Every small wound should be treated immediately, even if it's just washing it or swabbing it with antibacterial solution. (I always let bleeding wounds flow for a minute or two, to flush themselves out. Unless it's a real gusher, I mean.)
Part of the recent paper from the CDC on MRSA mentioned the ongoing problem of nosocomial infections. Health care workers don't take adequate precautions to avoid spreading bacteria between patients. This too is an age-old problem. Basically, you shouldn't let anybody touch you in those places unless you've seen
them wash their hands and/or put on fresh gloves.
A recent article in Microbe
describes some experiments that some university students recently did. They sampled random surfaces around their campuses and found MRSA on 90% of computer keyboards, as well as in most restrooms. http://www.asm.org/microbe/index.asp?bid=52087
Well, obviously, you should take every opportunity to wash your hands, when out in public, right? Another experiment found pathogenic bacteria in 23% of liquid soap dispensers in public restrooms. This isn't too surprising to me, since I always have my students do an experiment testing the antibiotic properties of various cleaners. The foamy "antibacterial" hand soap that's so popular these days has no detectable antibacterial properties at all.