Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment Home Care pain and fever adults pain and fever children warning signs Prevention Complications Underlying Cause Types MRSA

Staph Infections Overview

What are staph infections?
A person with a staph infection has an infection that is caused by the bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus. Staph is a common cause of skin infections because it is normally present on the surface of the skin. However, Staphylococcus aureus can infect the lungs, skin, bone, and other organs in the body. A methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection is caused by staph bacteria that are resistant to a powerful form of penicillin, called methicillin. MRSA infections require treatment with a small group of very powerful antibiotics. About 1 out of 1300 people suffer MRSA infections each year in the US.

What are the symptoms of staph infections?
The symptoms of a staph infection depend on the location of the infection. Lung infections cause bacterial pneumonia symptoms, skin infections cause cellulitis symptoms, bone infections cause osteomyelitis symptoms, joint infections cause septic arthritis symptoms, blood infections cause sepsis symptoms, and heart valve infections cause bacterial endocarditis symptoms.

How does the doctor treat staph infections?
Treatment for a staph infection includes antibiotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain and fever. Treatment for a staph infection may be difficult because the bacteria are resistant to many antibiotics.

Continue to Staph Infections Incidence

Last Updated: Oct 1, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Staph Infections References
  1. Anstead GM, Quinones-Nazario G, Lewis JS 2nd. Treatment of infections caused by resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Methods Mol Biol. 2007;391:227-58. [18025681]
  2. Hepburn MJ, Dooley DP, Skidmore PJ, Ellis MW, Starnes WF, Hasewinkle WC. Comparison of short-course (5 days) and standard (10 days) treatment for uncomplicated cellulitis. Arch Intern Med. 2004 Aug 9-23;164(15):1669-74. [15302637]
  3. Johnston GA. Treatment of bullous impetigo and the staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome in infants. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2004 Jun;2(3):439-46. [15482208]
  4. Laube S, Farrell AM. Bacterial skin infections in the elderly: diagnosis and treatment. Drugs Aging. 2002;19(5):331-42. [12093320]
  5. Patel GK, Finlay AY. Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome: diagnosis and management. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2003;4(3):165-75. [12627992]
  6. Wilcox MH. Antibiotic prescribing as a risk factor for MRSA. Hosp Med. 2005 Mar;66(3):180-4. [15791883]
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