About Staph Infections

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    Identification

    • MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is the medical term for a staff infection. Serious cases of staph infections are usually acquired in a hospital setting. When hospital staff is not careful it can unknowingly spread staph among patients. Patients are very vulnerable to staph because of poor health. Staph is everywhere in our environment and the bacteria can live outside of our body without causing any direct harm to us. It is only when staph enters the body that it can cause an infection. The level of severity depends on how deep the staph was able to penetrate.

    Misconceptions

    • There are many misconceptions about staphylococcus. One of the most common myths is that MRSA is only associated with hospitals. Staph infections can be acquired in a hospital as well as in our own environment, even our own home.

    Warning

    • If you have a boil on your skin, never pop it on your own. This can actually cause a staph infection to spread deeper within your tissues or bloodstream. Boils need to be treated by a doctor in a sterile environment. Never attempt to treat yourself.

    Prevention/Solution

    • There are many things you can do to help prevent the devastating effects of a staph infection. Wash your hands with hot soapy water every time you use the bathroom, even at your own home. If you get a cut or a scrape treat it right away by pouring a small amount of hydrogen peroxide on the wound, then put an antibiotic ointment and bandage on. Change bandages frequently and keep the cut clean. Use common sense whenever you experience any injury. Even a small cut can turn into a big problem if it gets infected.

      Never share razors or other personal items such as clothing, towels or bar soap.

      Bug bites can become infected so treat them just as you would any type of cut. Common signs of infection are swelling, redness or a fever.

    Expert Insight

    • According to the "Journal of the American Medical Association" staph bacteria are resistant to antibiotics. It recommends never touching another person's bandages or wounds. Always use extreme caution. The Center for Disease Control has seen numerous staph outbreaks in prisons, military camps and locker rooms. The CDC says staph is commonly seen in areas where people are crowded together. Athletes should be especially careful by following good hygiene practices at all times.

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