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How do you treat staphylococcus?

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Quick Answer

Treatment for staphylococcus infections may involve antibiotics, drainage of wounds or removal of devices that are infected, states Mayo Clinic. Many strains of staphylococcus are resistant to penicillin. These infections are referred to as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA strains.

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As only 10 percent of staphylococcus responds to penicillin, an antibiotic called vancomycin is used more frequently to treat serious infection, explains Mayo Clinic. Vancomycin, which potentially has more side effects than traditional staphylococcus antibiotics, must be given intravenously. A staphylococcus infection may be minor in nature and cause skin problems or cause life-threatening infection of the heart called endocarditis.

Symptoms of a staphylococcus infection vary and are dependent on how severe the infection is and the location of the infection, according to Mayo Clinic. Symptoms that are associated with staphylococcus infection include boils on the skin, a painful rash called impetigo, staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome and cellulitis, which can lead to the development of skin ulcers or sores. Staphylococcus bacteria can lead to food poisoning, toxic shock syndrome, blood poisoning and septic arthritis. Food poisoning caused by staphylococcus normally causes symptoms that disappear quickly, while blood poisoning or bacterium can lead to infections of internal organs, implanted devices or infections in the bone and muscle.

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