In 1998-1999 a strain of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infected 147 patients in 40 out of 160 ward units at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg. The strain originated from a patient who had been treated in a hospital in Cyprus. In order to control this outbreak a plan of action was decided upon and carried out, including extensive information to the hospital staff, screening for carriers, and establishing a hospital infection control committee. Furthermore, a policy for screening all patients readmitted to the hospital was established in November 1999. This screening could be discontinued on July 1, 2001.