AUSTIN, Texas -- Bethany Burke is on a mission to warn the community about a disease that could have taken her life. While on vacation with her family at the age of 15, a MRSA infection attacked her body and landed her in the hospital.
Within hours it was big, red, swollen and growing and spreading to other parts of my face, said Burke.
The infection left behind a rash and boils on her face. At the time the now Hyde Park High School senior had to miss months of school while she recovered.
They had given me an oral antibiotic and that seemed to be making me worse, said Burke.
MRSA is a strain of staph bacteria resistant to most antibiotics. The best defense is simply washing your hands since it is spread by skin to skin contact. Athletes and hospital patients are some of the people most at risk.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list more ways to protect yourself.
Burke doesn't know where she contracted the bacteria, but she will never be rid of it.
Whenever I have a nick or scrape on my body, I have to really look at that and keep a close eye on that, said Burke.
Now Burke serves as an ambassador for the MRSA Survivors Network. She won a national award for her work educating others about the risk.
Just because it happened to me, it doesn't mean it has to happen to you, said Burke.