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How do you identify a staph infection?

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Quick Answer

To identify a skin staph infection, it is important to know the different types that exists, such as cellulitis, boils and impetigo. Some symptoms of these different skin staph infections include an area of the skin that is painful, inflamed and warm, a boil or abscess that contains pus and a rash. When a staph infection spreads further or into the bloodstream, some possible symptoms are a fever and hypotension, states MedicineNet.

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A staph infection, which is caused by the bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus, can be either minor or a very serious condition, depending on its location and whether it has spread. A common type of skin staph infection is cellulitis, states WebMD. The initial symptoms of this skin infection can be an open lesion that becomes very painful, red and hot to the touch. The area can also be very tender. Besides pus drainage, boils can present the same symptoms mentioned, according to MedicineNet. Impetigo presents as a rash that is painful.

As the infection spreads to the bloodstream, it can lead to serious symptoms, such as a fever, chills, nausea and rapid breathing, states Merck Manual. Sepsis or bacteremia is the term used when bacteria moves into the bloodstream. The infection can also spread to other organs, such as the heart valves, bones, joints and lungs. When the infection becomes widespread in the body, it can lead to septic shock and possible death, notes MedicineNet.

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