Staphylococcus aureus is the bacteria responsible for severe cases of bacterial infections. It is important to note that staphylococcus aureus is typically present in the nose or on the skin. Carriers of the bacteria do not have any symptoms. Individuals who are likely to carry the bacteria include those who have repeated skin punctures from injections, those under dialysis machines as well as those who have open skin infections. Active staphylococcus aureus infections can be life-threatening and can be caused by various forms of contact with the bacteria.
Staphylococcus aureus is considered heat and salt tolerant which makes salty food an ideal breeding ground where the bacteria can multiply. The increase in the population of bacteria can lead to increased toxins. The toxins from foods that contain staph can cause food poisoning with symptoms that manifest 30 minutes after exposure. Diarrhea, nausea and vomiting are the typical symptoms of food-related infections. This type of staphylococcus aureus infection is not contagious once the contaminated food has been ingested.
It is important to note that carriers of staphylococcus aureus can end up with an infection once the skin is broken. The mucous membranes of the skin serve as a protective barrier against infection.
On the other hand, damage to the membrane will allow contamination within the body. If there is the presence of cellulitis or abscess at the site of punctured skin, it indicates a potential staph infection. The symptoms manifest as pus-filled or swollen pockets close to the site of broken skin. Cellulitis is indicated by evident swelling and pain at the site of the infection. A staph infection from broken skin can contaminate others.
Blood poisoning or bacteremia can develop once staphylococcus aureus enters the bloodstream. This condition is quite common among individuals who have compromised immune systems due to other conditions. In case a carrier of staph endures a skin abrasion and also sick with an autoimmune disorder, the individual is at risk for infection that goes deep inside the body.
Bacteremia is a severe form of staph infection that is capable of infecting any organ. Those who have compromised immune systems who are not carriers can also acquire the bacteria via contact with contaminated objects such as linens or from others with staph-contaminated skin.
It is important to note that staphylococcus aureus bacteria are abundant in the hospital setting. The use of invasive medical devices such as breathing intubation, catheters or feeding tubes contaminated with staphylococcus aureus can cause staph infections.
Individuals who are recovering in the hospital from external wounds or those who have weakened immune systems are likely to acquire medical-device contaminated infections.