Tracking Down Methicillin

The Objective

The objective of this project is analyze at my school the transmission rate of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus if an outbreak occurred, and how to prevent such an outbreak.


To measure the transmission rate, a SIS model will be used, in which a transmission coefficient (based on the probability of contamination, hygiene and the transmission rate at hospitals) is required.

The probability of contamination can be acquired through analysis of handwashing skills-UV lotion will be distributed to consenting subjects and UV lotion residues left on their hands on the day after distribution would show contamination(average surface area of a cut divided by average surface area of UV residue would yield the probability of contamination).

Hygiene can be determined through the use of surveys.


The SIS model yielded data showing that if such an epidemic occurred at my school, the transmission rate would be in a linear fashion, infecting about 5 people after a period of 14 days.


Since a theoretical MRSA epidemic at my school would occur in a linear fashion, a plan has to be made to stop the epidemic from possibly becoming logarithmic in rate. Students MUST be taught (or re-taught) to wash their hands thoroughly and properly. MRSA awareness should be heightened as well, so that students would not dismiss their possible infection as a mere acne pimple.

My project concerns calculating the transmission rate of a theoretical MRSA epidemic at my school, in order to help prevent or slow down such an epidemic.

Science Fair Project done By Maria J. Ly



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