Staph infection is caused by the bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus and is it most usually found in the skin, but can actually go even deeper if untreated, in which case it can even be life-threatening. The bacteria enter the body through a small cut or a wound, which gives way to the infection to develop and spread. If your immune system is weakened, the staph infection can develop into your urinary tract, lungs, heart, and blood stream and have potentially fatal effects, so early detection can help you treat the infection quickly and prevent the more serious symptoms and outcomes.
The first thing you will notice is the signs and symptoms of the infection on the skin. This all depends on the individual, but most commonly the staph infection will manifest in the form of blisters, sores, or rashes that can be followed by pus or other discharge. Below you will find a handy list of possible symptoms of staph infection on the skin:
- Impetigo – recognized as a rash which can develop in large blisters. Contagious
- Boils – most common symptom. Usually red and swollen and filled with pus
- Cellulitis – swollen and red areas of the skin usually on feet and lower legs. You may notice sores with some discharge
- Bacteremia – Bacteremia is the presence of bacteria in the bloodstream, in this case, the presence of staphylococcus aureus in your blood. This is a pretty serious problem as when the staph bacteria enters the bloodstream it can flow to other parts of the body and cause more issues that can be quite grave.
To recognize the bacteremia, you will most likely need to go to your doctor, however, if you experience a fever or have a low blood pressure if otherwise, your blood pressure is normal, you might have bacteremia. Go to your doctor immediately so you can get proper tests that will determine if you have bacteria in your system or not.
Symptoms of Toxic Shock
Be wary of the symptoms of toxic shock syndrome. This is a life-threatening problem and it requires immediate treatment from a professional. Toxic shock syndrome is a potentially fatal condition, and in the case of Staphylococcus aureus, it is caused by enterotoxin type B or TSST-1.
Symptoms of toxic shock syndrome caused by Staphylococcus aureus manifests through high fever, low blood pressure, confusion, and malaise (a feeling of general uneasiness, pain, or general discomfort). These early symptoms can quickly progress to coma, organ failure, and stupor (a state of insensibility and near-unconsciousness).
The first sign is, of course, high body temperature, over 38.9 °C (102.02 °F). Systolic blood pressure will be below 90 mmHg, you will experience diffuse macular erythroderma, peeling of the skin on soles and palms, one to two weeks after onset. Depending on the situation, some of the organ systems may be involved, and you can experience vomiting, diarrhea, severe myalgia, mucous membrane hyperemia (the increase of blood flow into certain tissues, mostly oral, conjunctival, and vaginal), kidney failure, liver inflammation, platelet count will be below 100,000 / mm³, and you may experience confusion if the central nervous system is involved.
Symptoms of Septic Arthritis
One of the many issues caused by staph infection can be septic arthritis which happens when the staph bacteria reaches the joints. Most commonly, the affected joints will be those in the knees, but any joint in the body can be attacked by the bacteria. The symptoms of septic arthritis usually come swiftly and with a lot of pain, swelling of the joints and fever.
Other symptoms may include one or several of these: chills, weakness and fatigue, high fever, pain in the joints, especially upon movement, swelling due to the flow of fluid in the joints, warmth – in this case a joint is warm and red because of excessive blood flow, and inability to move the affected joint and the whole limb.