Often, staph infection does not cause any harm. This is a condition brought by a common bacteria called the staphylococcus aureus. It only gets life-threatening when the staph bacteria enter the body and quickly multiplies. In this article, we will discuss everything about staph infection, when to go to hospital, infection symptoms, risk factors, causes, and many more. Staph infections are contagious and can be passed on through the mouth, so Glenmore Park-based clinic Bright Dental Group recommends avoiding sharing utensils, oral care products, and kissing someone with the infection.
Often, staph infection does not cause any harm. This is a condition brought by a common bacteria called the staphylococcus aureus. It only gets life-threatening when the staph bacteria enter the body and quickly multiplies. In this article, we will discuss everything about staph infection – when to go to hospital, infection symptoms, risk factors, causes, and many more. Staph infections are contagious and can be passed on through the mouth, so Glenmore Park-based clinic Bright Dental Group recommends avoiding sharing utensils, oral care products, and kissing someone with the infection.
Understanding Staph Infection
A lot of people have methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection (MRSA) on the surface of their bodies. The bacteria can be found from their nose and skin and usually don’t pose any threat.
But when the bacteria gets inside the body, that’s when the symptoms of staph infections will begin to appear.
There are several types of staph infections. The range of each type of staph differs, starting from boils, blood poisoning, and antibiotic-resistant strains.
Some staph infections can be life-threatening. But how will you know if it’s time to go to the hospital? Let’s find out.
Effects of Staph Infections
Due to its diversity, staph infections can cause minor skin infections to major skin problems. Severe cases may lead to endocarditis which can cost you your life. Because of this, the signs and symptoms may also vary. Some of the things to consider include the location and the extent of the infection.
Skin infections due to staph also come in different varieties, including:
Boils. This is the most common kind of staph infection. The infection involves a pocket of pus that grows in an old gland or hair follicle. The skin that covers the infected area would become swollen and red.
Once the boil break opens, the pus will drain. Boils often occur in areas like the buttocks, groin, and under the arms.
Cellulitis. This staph infection penetrates the deepest layer of skin, causing the outer layer of the skin to become swollen and red. Also, painful skin sores might develop in specific areas.
Impetigo. Impetigo is a highly contagious and painful skin rash. It usually comes with large blisters that are filled with fluid and covered by a crust.
Staph infection causes toxin production; due to this, staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome might occur. This usually affects younger patients such as babies and children.
Data shows that food poisoning is commonly due to staph bacteria. The signs also come quickly after eating contaminated food. However, the symptoms usually disappear fast; in most cases, they go away in less than 24 hours.
Food staph poisoning does not always cause a fever, but it might still occur. Some of the symptoms would include:
- low blood pressure
Bacteremia is a staph infection that takes place when the bacteria gets inside the bloodstream. This type of infection causes lower blood pressure and fever at the same time. Frequently, bacteria could get into the bloodstream through the mouth. This is why it’s essential to choose an experienced dentist for mouth cleaning and examination. The bacteria could travel in the deeper areas of the body and start infecting:
- heart, lungs, and brain
- other internal organs
- muscles and bones
- implanted devices like artificial joints and cardiac pacemakers
Toxic Shock Syndrome
When the strains of staph bacteria produce toxins in the body, you can be in a grave situation. Toxic shock syndrome has been linked with surgery, skin wounds, and the use of tampons. It suddenly appears together with symptoms such as:
- muscle pain
- upset stomach
In this type of staph infection, the knees, hips, shoulders, and toes or fingers are usually the ones that are affected. Your joints will start to swell, and you will feel painful sensations in the targeted areas. In some cases, a fever will also occur.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
MRSA is a type of infection that is resistant to several antibiotics. It requires a different kind of treatment than those that are used in treating ordinary staph infections.
Are you at risk?
Anyone can get a staph infection. You can even develop a skin infection through subtle skin contact. Even healthy people may be at risk of MRSA, especially if:
- A person has a weak immune system. Those diagnosed with infectious diseases like HIV, AIDS, or Covid-19 have weak immune systems and may be at higher risk than others.
- When kids start to attend nursery school, they might get infected with impetigo, a well-known school sore affecting children.
- People who always have to have medical equipment entering their bodies. For instance, tools used for kidney dialysis. The bacteria can spread by using breathing tubes, catheters, and feeding tubes.
- Severe exposure to people who carry MRSA or staph infections. This typically happens if you have stayed for an extended period in the hospital.
Here are some of the important reminders we can give you to help prevent and avoid contracting staph infections.
- Wash your hands with soap and water after getting in contact with MRSA
- Practice regular hand washing
- Get your wound treated right away (wash as soon as possible)
- Do not share towels
- Seek medical attention if you have symptoms
- Have yourself checked if you get in contact with someone wh carry staph
It’s crucial to prevent and treat MRSA because this can have a significant effect on your bloodstream, lungs, heart, joints, and bones. Neglecting treatment might result in severe health conditions that could put you in danger.
Immediately go to the doctor if your kid has irritated, red, and painful skin accompanied by blisters. It will also help if you inform your doctor about how the skin infections were passed down in your family and if more than two individuals carry MRSA.
Staph infections (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/staph-infections/symptoms-causes/syc-20356221)
Staph infections (https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/staph-infections)
MRSA infection (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mrsa/symptoms-causes/syc-20375336)