Thanks for writing.
Staphylococcus aureus (“staph”) is a common bacteria that lives on the skin of healthy people. MRSA (or “methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus”) is a type of staph bacteria that has become resistant to antibiotics, and is also becoming increasingly common.
MRSA is passed by direct contact with someone who has the infection, or a contaminated item (such as a kitchen counter or shared bed sheets). Some people can carry MRSA on their skin without showing symptoms, and it would be possible to get MRSA from direct contact with that person.
That said, research from the National Collaboration Centre for Environmental Health lists athletic centres as potential sites of contact with MRSA. The US CDC has data that MRSA is not passed through pool water/hot tubs/spa water, but can be passed through contact with recreational facilities like locker room benches and shared towels.
MRSA is also most likely to be passed when someone has a break in their skin (such as a cut, scrape, etc.)
In short, there is a definite possibility that you came in contact with MRSA from the spa facilities you visited. It’s also possible that you or your partner has been carrying MRSA symptomatically for some time, and your symptoms were only triggered recently. For example, if you get sick or go through a period of significant stress that can drop your immune system, and you could get symptoms from MRSA your body had been suppressing previously. If you haven’t been sick lately it seems less likely that you’ve been carrying it, and more likely that you picked it up recently. Unfortunately we can’t say for sure either way.
Check out this page called “Exploring the risks of MRSA: A tale of Two Stories” for more information.
Please feel free to comment below or submit another question as needed.