A new study found that invasive MRSA infections, the kind that attack the blood or bones, occur more than 94,000 times a year in the United States. While most of those infections occur in hospitals, others are picked up in the outside world. Here, expert tips on how to protect yourself.

1. Wash your hands—a lot.
MRSA passes by touch. Use soap and hot water. And carry a hand sanitizer when you dont have access to a sink.

2. Be on guard at the gym.
Bring your own yoga mat, and wear workout gear that covers your skin.

3. Check it out.
Pay attention to pimples or spots that look like spider bites. If they become painful or red, see a your doc—or visit a drop-in clinic or an ER. And dont be shy about asking about MRSA.

Last updated: Mar 20, 2008