According to pubmed.gov,website affiliated with The National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health, staph infections have an incident rate of 20 to 50 cases for every 100,000 people per year. And among these people, 10 to 30 percent will die from this infection, accounting for a greater number of deaths than for “AIDs, tuberculosis and viral hepatitis combined.” After 50 years of this infection being introduced into society, there is still no cure.
Staphylococcus aureus, more commonly known as staph, is a group of bacteria that cause infection. The bacteria’s genus includes at least 40 different types of bacteria. The bacteria are found commonly in areas on the body such as the nose and skin, and on mucous membranes. The bacteria will become an issue if it enters deeper into the body, like into the bloodstream, joints, bones, lungs, or heart. If the bacteria can gain access to any of these areas, it can cause diseases that are fatal to the human body.
Staph is spread through a variety of different outlets, like contaminated objects or skin to skin contact. Staph infections are especially common in areas like schools and hospitals; places where germs are plentiful and common.
Staph infections can cause other ailments, such as boils, food poisoning, cellulitis, and toxic shock syndrome. In some instances, staph infections can even be fatal. Symptoms can include the collecting of pus, like boils and abscesses, and a tender or swollen area.
Although staph infections have been a serious issue for many years, there is still no vaccine.
Many forms of staph infections are treatable with antibiotics. However, some forms of the bacteria have developed resistances to all current antibiotics, and are therefore untreatable. Professionals are working on a couple different and new methods to treat staph infections.
According to Cassie Martin, in her article Staph Infections Still A Concern, “a natural antibiotic recently found in human noses may lead to drugs that target antibiotic-resistant staph.”
Doctors and researchers are hoping that a vaccine, if it could be developed, would be able to help hospital patients, who are prone to staph infections, and people with weakened immune systems as well.
On University campus, staph infections are a central concern for health services. There are fliers outside of the nurse’s office which offer information on the bacteria and how to prevent its spread. Teresa Dadez, the director of health services, had plenty to offer regarding staph infections and how to prevent their spread.
“You have to protect yourself from whatever could be there,” said Dadez. “Protect your family. Use hot soap and water, wash your clothes, wash anything that could make contact. If you’ve got one of those nasty little bubbles (an infected area), keep it covered at all times.”
Staph infections have been a problem for a long time, and after more than 50 years of research, it’s perplexing that we still have not developed a cure. As more forms of Staph keep adapting resistances to our current antibiotics, the race to find a way to treat and prevent staph infections from occurring becomes tighter and tighter.