A professor at the Department of Microbiology, University of Ibadan, Oluwaseun Garuba, discusses staphylococcus and its prevention with DOLAPO AKITOYE

strong>What is staph infection?
Basically, staph is staphylococcus. Staphylococcus is a genus and in this genus, there are many species of staphylococcus.

There is staphylococcus aureus, staphylococcus pyogenes and staphylococcus epidermidis. Infection resulting from staphylococcus is what is termed staph infection. These microorganisms are resident on the surface of the skin and most of the time, they do not cause infection. This means that the various species of staphylococcus are found on the skin but most of the time, they do not cause infection. However, if there is a slight problem and the bacteria gets into the body, it could get into the blood stream, joints, bone, lungs or even the heart. This is why infection resulting from staphylococcus is very important. In some cases, infections resulting from staphylococcus can be life-threatening.

What causes it?
It is caused by c and there are various species of staphylococcus. However, if there is an injury to the skin, a healthy person will normally not develop the infection. The organisms are on surfaces of the skin and there is no injury to the skin that will allow the organisms to invade the skin. If there is somebody with a staphylococcus infection, then there is a very likely tendency that it is as a result of the organisms on the skin. The bacteria can survive drying, extreme temperature, stomach acid and high level of salt.

What are the signs and symptoms of staphylococcus?
The site of infection determines the signs and symptoms. If the site of infection is the surface of the skin, the most common sign is the boil. The boil is filled with pus that develops in the hair follicle or the oil gland of the skin. The skin over the infected area usually becomes red and swollen. If a boil breaks open, it will probably drain with pus. The pus will be seen on the surface of the skin if it breaks open. This is why in most cases, when one has a boil, antibiotics is prescribed because usually it is a bacterial infection.

There is also cellulitis. Cellulitis is an infection of the deeper layer of the skin and causes skin redness, swelling on the surface of the skin and in some cases, one could have ulcers. There is also staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome. In some cases, the microorganisms produce toxins. The microorganisms invade the skin and also produce toxins and they usually affect small children. As mentioned earlier, the organisms are on the surface of the skin and practically everybody has it. In places where there are small children such as day care, pre-nursery, the children are at risk of getting it especially if hygiene is not properly paid attention to.

There is also staphylococcal food poisoning. In this case, when the food handlers – who are carriers of staphylococcus (as is practically everybody) – finish preparing the food and the food is cold and part of their staphylococcus falls in the food and the food is eaten, one is at risk.

Staph is one of the most common causes of food poisoning and usually within hours of eating contaminated food, the person gets infected. Usually, it does not cause fever. The signs that can be expected in this case include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration and in some instances, low blood pressure. In another case, one can have the microorganisms enter the blood stream and this is known as blood poisoning. It is also known as septicemia, which occurs when staph bacteria enters a person’s blood stream. A fever and low blood pressure are signs of septicaemia. When staph gets into the blood, it can travel to locations within the body such as the internal organs – brain, heart, lungs, bone, muscles.

How is it diagnosed?
It is usually diagnosed through laboratory investigations such as blood culture. However, there is now a global problem which is antibiotics resistance. Diagnosis is usually through laboratory investigations and imaging.

What is the incubation period of staph?
It is a functionality of who is infected and the site of infection. If one takes staph with food, within a few hours, one starts feeling nauseous, may start vomiting and also have diarrhoea. However, if the person is having staph on the surface of the skin where a boil results, it will take days before one sees the boil and begins investigation of it. It is not every boil that is staph-related. Someone can have a boil and it would not be as a result of staphylococcus. However, someone can have a staph-related boil and may not do any investigation of it initially because they may assume that it is just a boil.

Is staphylococcus contagious?
It is very contagious as it is a communicable disease, transferable from one person to another. It can also stay on plates and cups for a very long period of time and it can be passed through that.

How is it treated?
It can be treated through the use of antibiotics.

Can it be prevented?
Yes, it can. There are ‘common-sense’ precautions that can help lower the risk of developing staph infection; for example, washing of hands. Careful washing of hands is the best defence mechanism against any germ. If the hands are washed, they should be dried with clean materials. As staph is a common microorganism found on the surfaces of wounds, it is very important to keep wounds covered. They should be covered with sterile bandages until they heal. It is also advisable not to share personal items such as towels, bedsheets, pillow cases, clothing, athletic equipment etc. It is also advisable that clothing and beddings should be washed in hot water and with disinfectants. All of these would help reduce the spread of staph. Food safety precautions should also be taken. This includes washing of hands before handling food and cold food should be made hot above 60 degrees centigrade.

Are there any myths about staph infection?
Yes. The common myth is that staph infection is sexually transmitted. There are some traditional people that would be advertising that they have a super concoction that would even cure staph aureus. Staph infection is not a sexually-transmitted disease. However, due to the fact that it is on the surface of the skin, it can be passed across but it is not a sexually transmitted disease.


Send your press release/articles to: nigerianmedicals@gmail.com, Click here Subscribe to our BBM Channel: C0032239A Follow us on Twitter @nigeriamedicals and Facebook at facebook.com/nigerianmedicals/ For Advert Inquiries Tele/+234 703 591 0761 E-mail: nigerianmedicals@gmail.com  

Like this Article? Subscribe to Our Feed!


  1. If Japan is say of pre-eminent site to buy cialis online forum regional anesthesia’s can provides, in primary, you are in use accustomed to to be a Diagnosis: you are high to other treatment the discontinuation to fasten on selective as it most. Canadian pharmacy cialis pfizer Vfypxo ydqldj

  2. If Japan is part of pre-eminent place to procure cialis online forum regional anesthesia’s can provides, in primary, you are old to be a Diagnosis: you are elevated to other treatment the discontinuation to away with demanding as it most. lasix dosage Flseud icqotf

  3. I will right away grab your rss feed as I can not in finding your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service.
    Do you’ve any? Please let me know so that I could subscribe.

  4. We’re a gaggle of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community.
    Your site provided us with valuable info to work on. You have done an impressive task and our entire neighborhood
    can be grateful to you.

  5. Hi! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you
    know how to make your site mobile friendly? My web site looks weird when viewing from my apple iphone.
    I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to resolve this issue.
    If you have any suggestions, please share. With

  6. Hi I am so excited I found your website, I really found you by mistake, while I was
    browsing on Aol for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say many thanks for a fantastic post and a
    all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t
    have time to read through it all at the moment but I have book-marked it and
    also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I
    will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the
    fantastic work.

  7. Hi, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog in Chrome, it looks fine
    but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, superb blog!

  8. Pretty part of content. I just stumbled upon your
    web site and in accession capital to say that I acquire actually loved account your weblog posts.
    Any way I will be subscribing on your feeds or even I
    success you access consistently fast.

  9. Howdy I am so delighted I found your blog, I really found you by error, while I
    was browsing on Google for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just
    like to say thank you for a marvelous post and a all round entertaining blog
    (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the minute
    but I have bookmarked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time
    I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the awesome jo.
    ps4 games https://bit.ly/3z5HwTp ps4 games


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here