The report in the San Francisco Chronicle cites reports that a particularly nasty strain of the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) labeled USA300 is making the rounds. The distinctive of this strain of MRSA is that it is "an epidemic clone of community- acquired" MRSA. In other words, it is communicable via skin-to-skin contact AND it is spreading in concentrations among a specific community.
My own interest in MRSA is that my friend's sister recently died of complications with MRSA and we learned at that time it was communicable. MRSA use to be common primarily in hospital populations and it a known killer. It has developed a strain (USA300) that is frequently displaying in sexually transmitted situations and, specifically, it is 13% more common in gay populations in major cities.
Here is one link to a CDC report that was published in August 2007.