Staphylococcus aureus (staph) is a type of bacteria that can cause infections. Staph bacteria normally live on the skin. They don't usually cause problems. They only become a problem when they cause infection. The infection has a higher chance of becoming serious in people who are weak or ill or who are being treated in the hospital. Sometimes staph bacteria can cause more serious widespread infection.
In the hospital, staph infections are more likely to occur in wounds, burns, or places where there is a break in the skin or where tubes enter the body. In the community, these infections are more likely to occur among people who have cuts or wounds and who have close contact with one another.
Symptoms of a staph infection depend on where the infection is. If the infection is:
The doctor will take a sample of your infected wound or a blood or urine sample. The sample is tested to see which antibiotics can kill the bacteria in it. This test may take several days.
If you have a staph infection, your doctor may:
You may have to stay in the hospital for treatment. In the hospital, you may be kept apart from others. This is to reduce the chances of spreading the bacteria.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
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Current as of: November 18, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Elizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine
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