What Are the Symptoms of an MSSA Infection?

MSSA infections caused by methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus bacteria are localized to infected cuts, scrapes or rashes, and symptoms present themselves as wounds filled with pus or fluid, explains KidsHealth. If not treated, more serious symptoms and complications can occur, including toxic shock syndrome, impetigo, cellulitis and boils.

Toxic shock syndrome is a complication of an MSSA infection that can cause symptoms such as a high fever, low blood pressure, vomiting and confusion, according to Mayo Clinic. If not treated in time, the complication can rapidly progress to shock, kidney failure and death. Antibiotics and surgery may be needed to treat the infection and the symptoms of toxic shock syndrome.

Impetigo appears as red sores that rupture and can cause scarring, notes Mayo Clinic. It affects the superficial layers of the skin, but if left untreated, can cause cellulitis which affects the skin’s deeper levels. Symptoms of cellulitis include tenderness, swelling and redness of the infected area that spreads to adjacent skin. A person with cellulitis can also experience fever, chills and swollen lymph nodes as the infected area enlarges.

Symptoms of boils include firm and red bumps, tender skin surrounding the bumps, a bump increasing in size, and pus-filled heads on the bumps, explains MedicineNet. Not all boils can be treated with antibiotics, and most resolve on their own.