Viral Staph Infections
Although staph infections are not viral in nature (they are caused by bacteria), they are still contagious and can cause a wide variety of symptoms, ranging from mild to life-threatening. In most cases, staph bacteria will affect the skin and produce a red bump (or cluster of red bumps) that is similar in appearance to a spider bite. More serious cases can lead to complications such as pneumonia or bloodstream infections.
There are only a few different types of Staphylococcus bacteria known to cause infections in humans. Four of them include:
- Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), the most common type of staph infection
- Staphylococcus saprophyticus, a common cause of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in young adult women
- Staphylococcus epidermidis, an important cause of infections in the hospital
- Staphylococcus lugdunensis, infections that can range from minor to life-threatening.
Some Staphylococcus bacteria are resistant to antibiotics. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA for short, is a type of Staphylococcus that is resistant to antibiotics called beta-lactams.
(Click Staph Infection to learn more about this topic, including additional signs and symptoms, risk factors, treatment options, and more.)