The New York Times' characterization of MRSA as the "hidden foe" of sports captures the double sense of the hiding of MRSA just about right. Yes, MRSA may be present even when symptoms of the bacteria are not present but MRSA's demonstrable evidence may also be hidden by the individual or sports team infected. After all, the Washington Post has been writing about MRSA in the NFL, for example, for over ten years. One difference is the rise of sports league-based treatment protocols as well as prevention protocols. The real difference appears to be the acknowledgement that prevention is far more valuable than treatment by over-reliance on antibiotics, exactly the kind of problem solving that helped bring us to this impasse.
Maybe hospitals and skilled nursing facilities can learn something about how secrecy is no disinfectant when it comes to MRSA.