There are a number of ways to transmit a staph infection. For example, it can be spread through direct skin-to-skin contact or through touching a contaminated surface. Once the bacteria have been transmitted, it takes anywhere from 1 to 10 days for signs and symptoms to appear. Not everyone who becomes infected will have symptoms; however, people without symptoms can still infect others.
Staphylococcus infections ("staph" for short) are caused by Staphylococcus bacteria. There are several different types of Staphylococcus bacteria that can cause infections in humans (see Staph Infection Causes). In most cases, they cause skin infections; however, staph bacteria can also cause more serious infections.
This group of bacteria has gained a lot of interest in the past several years because of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA for short). This type of staph infection has gone from being a controllable condition to a serious public health concern.
Staph infections are most frequently transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact with someone who has an active infection. They may also be spread through contact with someone who is a carrier of the bacteria (colonized) or by touching shared items or surfaces that have come into contact with someone else's infection (such as a towel or used bandages).