Staphylococcus aureus, often referred to simply as "staph," are bacteria commonly carried on the skin or in the nose of healthy people. Approximately 25% to 30% of the population is colonized (when bacteria are present, but not causing an infection) in the nose with staph bacteria. Sometimes, staph can cause an infection. Staph bacteria are one of the most common causes of skin infections in the United States. Most of these skin infections are minor (such as pimples and boils) and can be treated without antibiotics (also known as antimicrobials or antibacterials). However, staph bacteria also can cause serious infections (such as surgical wound infections, bloodstream infections, and pneumonia). Some staph bacteria are resistant to many antibiotics. These bacteria are called methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureau or MRSA. While 25% to 30% of the population is colonized with staph, approximately 1% is colonized with MRSA.
If you suspect that you or a family member has a staph infection, contact a doctor as soon as possible. Students and staff members may not attend school if fever is present. All draining sores must be covered with a clean, dry dressing while at school. If staph or MRSA is diagnosed, please notify school health service personnel at your child"s campus.
Also, remember to practice good handwashing, take all prescribed antibiotics, and never save or share antibiotics.
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