General staph infections were first identified in the 1880s. At that point, the distinctive symptoms, like boils and peeling skin, were discovered. People with the infection were always at risk for having the bacteria get into their bloodstreams or for developing bacterial pneumonia.
In the 1940s, antibiotics were developed to help treat and cure staph infections. But soon after, strains of the infection started becoming immune to the antibiotics. In 1961, British scientists discovered the first strains of Staphylococcus aureus that resisted the antibiotic methicillin. This strain of the infection became known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.