Staff infections start out as small red
bumps, but may quickly turn into
abscesses that are sore to the touch.
bacteria can be found just about everywhere. S. aureus is one of
the bacteria that is commonly found on human skin.
Normally, the staph around us does not harm us. Our immune systems are aware of the germ and keep it under control. If a cut or other break in the skin lets some staph bacteria through, we might see a boil that needs to be treated.
Following treatment, keeping the area clean and dry should be all that is necessary.
However, the toxins from the S. aureus
bacteria can cause serious, even fatal, illness in people who have
compromised immune systems. Infants and those with autoimmune diseases
are the most vulnerable, but anyone recovering from illness or surgery
can be at risk for complications, These may include urinary tract infections,
surgical wound infections, bloodstream infections, and pneumonia.
Symptoms of serious infection usually include a boil or pimple that is resistant to treatment. As the condition worsens, more serious symptoms such as shortness of breath, high fever, chills, and cough may appear as the bacteria travels through the bloodstream.
Fighting the "super bug" - MRSA
Regular hand washing can help greatly reduce risk of staff infection.
For years, doctors
in hospitals have treated more serious staph infections with a range
of antibiotics. Like most living organisms, however, staph adapts to the
environment and develops immunity to help it survive. One strain
of this germ that has become immune to the effects of the most prescribed
antibiotics has been making headlines recently, and that is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA or "the superbug".
The strains of staff bacteria that have alarmed doctors and health officials is broken down into two distinct groups: community
acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) and
hospital acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (H-MRSA).
of illness caused by this bacteria have resulted in serious illness and many
areas have closed schools and restricted group activities following
reports of students having MRSA.
While it is important to receive
early treatment for MRSA infections, they are usually easily controlled
by a course of oral antibiotics. For very serious staff infections, intravenous vancomycin is required when staph bacteria have become resistant to other traditional antibiotics.
To reduce risk of catching or spreading the bacteria, common sense hygiene techniques are often recommended, such as:
Washing hands frequently
Prompt cleaning and bandaging all cuts and scrapes
Avoiding the sharing of clothing, towels or other items, like razors or tweezers, that may have come in contact with staph on the skin
More about staph infections around the Web:
On the Web,
find out more about staph infections at top sites offering expert
advice on risk factors, tips and advice on prevention, along with
more details on treatment options, the latest research updates and
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