BRITAIN'S top nurse today asked Huddersfield people to help hospitals tackle the superbugs.
Christine Beasley, the Chief Nursing Officer, said patients and visitors as well as hospital staff could help stop the threat of MRSA.
And she told an audience of health professionals in West Yorkshire that it was vital to share the expertise to stop the disease claiming more victims.
Mrs Beasley said: "MRSA is a problem across the country, including West Yorkshire, and it is right that we discuss it as much as we can.
"We have to do all we can both to reduce infections in hospital and ensure we have the cleanest possible hospitals.
"People have seen and heard scare stories about MRSA and I admit it is a risk.
"It affects three out of 1,000 people but we are seeing a very virulent strain at the moment that is on the increase.
"I am here in West Yorkshire to meet nurses, doctors, hospital staff and patients to hear about best practice and ways in which we can ensure our hospitals can prevent the spread of MRSA.
"It is not just a question of money; it is a question of making sure equipment is clean, that staff wash their hands and that visitors do their bit.
"I would appeal to people in Huddersfield who have friends and relatives in hospital to think. If you have or have had an infection, please don't visit.
"Don't sit on the beds, and don't handle hospital equipment.
"And for people who are due to go into hospital, don't worry. Our hospitals are some of the best and we are working hard to combat infections."
Sue Proctor, of the West Yorkshire Strategic Health Authority, said: "We want to ensure all the health trusts in West Yorkshire have all the expertise available to combat these problems."
What is MRSA?
MRSA or Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus is found on many people's skin. It causes no problems unless it gets inside the body when it can cause infections such as boils or pneumonia.
Methicillin was an antibiotic used many years ago to treat patients with Staphylococcus aureus infections. It is now used only to identify this particular type of antibiotic resistance.
If the organism is in the nose or is associated with the lungs rather than the skin then it may be passed around by droplets spread from mouth and nose.
Staphylococcus aureus can be identified by taking samples from the patient and growing the organism in the laboratory.