Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What happens to people when they get a staph infection?"
I have a staph infection. I am going to the doctor about it in a few days but I am wondering what it will do to me? What does having a staph infection do to your body? Could I die?
A "staph" infection is usually referring to a specific class of bacteria called Staphylococcus. These are small round organisms that tend to clump together underneath the microscope. This is different then streptococcus ("strep") which typically is long strings of these small bacteria as seen under the microscope. There are many many different kinds of Staph, but one of the more common pathogenic (causing illness) bacteria is Staph aureus. In fact if you have heard of MRSA, it stands for Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (a strain of Staph aureus that is resistant to many penicillin antibiotics). The fact that you have a "staph" infection, doesn't tell me anything about where on your body you have the infection. Staph infections can occur all throughout your body. If the infection has matured into a collection of infected fluid (like an abscess), then it may need to be opened and drained. Most often, however most Staph infections can be treated with antibiotics alone. Typically if Staph infections are caught early enough and treated appropriately, there are few life-threatening consequences. Although if the infection is bad enough it can definitely become life threatening. All the more reason to get checked out by your physician earlier rather than later. I hope that this information makes sense, and is helpful to you.
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