How do you get a staph infection?


Quick Answer

Staph infections transfer from an infected individual or carrier to another individual, according to Mayo Clinic. These bacteria are very hearty and are able to survive on clothing, towels, sports equipment and personal items to infect another individual. They can even infect others through transfer from unwashed hands to food.

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Full Answer

One in four people carries staph bacteria without any signs of an active infection, according to WebMD. The bacteria live in the nose, mouth or other warm, moist areas of the body. People often pick up an infection from the floor of a public area, such as a locker room. Infections range from small boils to antibiotic resistant bacteria. The chances of infection from an antibiotic resistant strain of staph are greater in North America, due to the overuse of medications.

MedlinePlus indicates an open cut or sore is a risk factor for a staph infection. The infection may appear as a reddened patch on the skin, a swollen area or a yellow-crusted sore. Doctors take samples of fluid from the sore, blood or saliva to send to a lab for testing.

Doctors typically treat staph infections using antibiotics, according to WebMD. However, as strains become resistant to antibiotics, such as penicillin, doctors must prescribe stronger antibiotics. If the infection moves deep into the muscle tissue, removal surgery is required.

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