WHAT IS A STAPHYLOCOCCAL INFECTION?
Staphylococcus aureus commonly causes boils and soft-tissue infections as well as more serious conditions such as pneumonia or bloodstream infections. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), twenty to thirty-five percent of adults and children in the United States are ÒcolonizedÓ with staphÑthe bacteria are present but do not cause illness. Staphylococcus aureus colonization usually occurs in the armpit, groin, genital area, and, most frequently, the inside of the nose. Most infections occur through direct physical contact of the staph bacteria with a break in the skin (cut or scrape) or during contact with inanimate objects (such as clothing, bed linens, or furniture) soiled with wound drainage. Your hands must be clean before you touch your eyes, nose, mouth, or any cuts or scrapes on the skin. The bacterium is not carried through the air and is not found in dirt or mud. Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) A MRSA (often pronounced mer-sa) inf