3 Symptoms That Indicate a Staph Infection

May 7th 2016

Staph infection symptoms can seem very general, and indeed they're similar to a wide range of bacterial infections. If there's any cause for concern, seek medical advice as soon as possible to get laboratory confirmation or to find out what else may be causing the problem. While many staph infections can be treated effectively with antibiotics, new resistant strains are causing issues, and the sooner treatment is started in cases of infection, the more options your prescribing physician has.

Boils, Ulcers and Impetigo

Developing sore, inflamed boils or discharging ulcers can indicate that you're suffering from a staph infection, especially if these worsen, or a painful weeping rash appears. This rash is known as impetigo, and it may ooze or produce fluid-filled blisters, forming a crust as it dries.

Ulcers are most common on the lower legs and feet as a result of cellulitis developing; this is an infection of the deeper layers of the skin. On the other hand, boils indicate an infection in a hair follicle or oil gland. They are formed from a pocket of pus and may crack open or leak.

The pus produced by these symptoms contains a lot of bacteria, and members of a household with an infected member should be careful not to spread bacteria by using the same towels or washcloths.

Fever and Low Blood Pressure

When they occur together, these two symptoms are an indicator that staph bacteria may have entered the bloodstream and that the patient is suffering from bacteremia, or blood poisoning. If the fever is accompanied by disorientation or confusion, medical help should be sought immediately. There may also be breathing issues that make receiving the proper assistance a matter of urgency. Because bacteria in the bloodstream can travel to all the major organs, this is a potentially life-threatening condition that can invade joints, organs and even medical devices such as pacemakers.

Vomiting and Diarrhea

These symptoms can indicate a staph food-poisoning incident, particularly if they're accompanied by stomach pains. However, if they're accompanied by the fever and low blood pressure previously noted as symptoms of staph blood poisoning, they can indicate the onset of Toxic Shock Syndrome, which usually occurs in modern times when bacteria enter the body after surgery or a puncture wound. This illness is caused by staph bacteria's waste products, and it's often fatal without treatment, so getting these symptoms checked by a qualified medical practitioner is vital.

Conclusion

Staphylococcus bacteria, which live on people's skin almost all of the time, don't usually cause issues beyond minor skin infections. However, if their presence develops into a full-blown staph infection, several more worrying symptoms can occur, and prompt diagnosis and treatment is vital to prevent nasty complications from arising.

Sources

MayoClinic.org "Staph infections - symptoms" http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/staph-infections/basics/symptoms/con-20031418
HumanIllnesses.com "Staphylococcal infections" http://www.humanillnesses.com/Infectious-Diseases-Sk-Z/Staphylococcal-Infections.html
NHS.uk "Staphylococcal infections" http://www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk/encyclopaedia/s/article/staphylococcalinfections/

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