Staphylococcus aureus, sometimes known simply as “staph”, is a bacterium that is a member of the normal flora of the body.Although S. aureus is not always pathogenic, it is a common cause of skin infections including abscesses, respiratory infection such as sinusitis, and food poisoning. despite much research and development, there is no approved vaccine for S. aureus.
S. aureus is most often spread to others by contaminated hands. The skin and mucous membranes are usually an effective barrier against infection. However, if these barriers are breached, ie. through a scratch or cut, S. aureus may gain access to underlying tissues or the bloodstream and cause infection. Anyone can develop a staph infection, although certain groups of people are at greater risk, including people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, cancer, vascular disease, eczema, and lung disease.
Staph infections can range from minor skin problems to endocarditis, a life-threatening infection of the inner lining of your heart. As a result, signs and symptoms of staph infections vary widely, depending on the location and severity of the infection. These may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Low blood pressure