According to Mayo Clinic, the bacteria that cause staph infections are contagious. Staph bacteria are highly enduring and frequently live on inanimate objects long enough to be transferred to other people. These bacteria are able to withstand extreme temperatures, drying and high salt levels. Infected individuals can prevent the spread of staph germs by keeping affected areas clean and covered.
According to Mayo Clinic, many people actually carry the staph bacteria but never get staph infections. Staff infections vary between being minor skin problems to being a potentially deadly infection of the heart's inner lining. Some skin conditions resulting from staph bacteria include boils, cellulitis, impetigo and staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome. The most common type of staph infection is the boil, which is a pus pocket that forms in an oil gland or hair follicle. Food poisoning is also commonly caused by staph bacteria.