MRSA. Four letters that make a grown woman run like a toddler to the shower, screaming all the way.
Also known as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA is a type of staph bacteria that does not react to most antibiotics.
And now it's showing up at the gym and a host of other creepy places.
According to the CDC, this is serious stuff -- MRSA causes skin infections, pneumonia, and more, and it can be fatal.
On the good side, the CDC is making "major strides" to reduce the spread of this staph in healthcare settings.
On the bad? It's showing up in these places instead:
1. Athletic Facilities. The gym and the Y are the subjects of a new position paper from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association about the increasing numbers of infections and how to prevent them.
2. The Beach. Scientists announced last year that warmer waters like those around California and Florida carry small but potentially hazardous amounts of the superbug.
3. Your Kid's School. Schools are a major hot spot for MRSA, thanks to plenty of kids who don't wash their hands and heated air to keep the kids warm (and bacteria alive).
4 and 5. Airplanes and Buses. Tests by University of Arizona researchers found MRSA on every airplane tested and 70 percent of city buses.
Want to avoid it? Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands!
Image via greg westfall/Flickr