Ask the experts
How do you get staph infection?
Staph infections are contagious until the infection has resolved. Direct contact with an infected sore or wound, or with personal-care items such as razors, bandages, etc., are common routes of transmission. Casual contact such as kissing or hugging does not pose a great risk for transmission if there is no direct contact with the infected area.
Certain kinds of staph infection (see below) involve staph organisms that cause food poisoning or toxic shock syndrome. These particular staph bacteria cause disease by producing a toxin. The toxin is not contagious, however, food poisoning may affect groups of people who eat the same contaminated food.
Anyone can develop a staph infection, although certain groups of people are at greater risk, including newborn infants, breastfeeding women, and people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, cancer, vascular disease, and lung disease. Injecting drug users, those with skin injuries or disorders, intravenous catheters, surgical incisions, and those with a weakened immune system due either to disease or a result of immune suppressing medications all have an increased risk of developing staph infections.
For more information, read our full medical article on staph infection symptoms, signs, treatment, and prognosis.
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