A systemic infection due to community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus occurred in a hospital-naive 17-year-old girl with no history of soft-tissue infection. Although the initial signs and symptoms were indolent, systemic manifestations occurred, including extensive lung parenchymal damage and acute respiratory distress syndrome. The patient required long-term mechanical ventilation and was given linezolid for 8 weeks. Blood cultures eventually became negative for the staphylococci, and the patient was discharged to a rehabilitation facility. A probable source of the infection was the patient’s self-cutting and self-piercing.

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