What is a staphylococcus infection?
A staphylococcus infection, more colloquially referred to as a staph infection, is a common ailment caused by staphylococcus bacteria. Millions come into contact with the staphylococcus bacteria every year, and many don’t even realize it. The infection is typically benign, causing minor issues or skin infections, but can in some cases be cause for concern.
Why is a staph infection harmful?
A staph infection is sometimes simply a nuisance, irritating the skin or causing stomach issues. However, a staph infection can become more concerning when the bacteria enters the bloodstream or otherwise invades deep into the body. In many cases, this progression can be avoided through a course of antibiotics, although a specific strain known as MRSA, short for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, can bring about some more serious risks. Beyond concerns for the individual, MRSA specifically can raise concerns in healthcare settings, particularly in hospitals, nursing homes, or other offices for medically vulnerable individuals. MRSA can lead to wound infections, pneumonia, or even bloodstream infections. These infections are dangerous for pregnant women, the elderly, or otherwise immunocompromised individuals.
How can staph be avoided and treated?
Staph infections can be avoided through good personal hygiene practices, such as washing hands, taking regular showers, avoiding sharing towels, and following proper wound-healing precautions. The infections can usually be treated through a course of antibiotics, which will minimize skin irritation and other physical symptoms. MRSA is different from a common staph infection in how it can be treated. MRSA belongs to a category of bacteria resistant to the class of β-lactam antibiotics, which includes common antibiotics such as methicillin and penicillin, which aren’t effective in combating the bacteria. If a MRSA outbreak has been identified, it’s best to decontaminate the site of the outbreak. In these cases, the multi-drug resistant staphylococcus aureus can be treated through multiple tactics, including using sodium hypochlorite, commonly known as bleach, and chlorine dioxide.
Why is chlorine dioxide a good option to treat staph?
Chlorine dioxide can be used to prevent staph and MRSA outbreaks in healthcare settings, schools, and military bases alike. By fumigating with chlorine dioxide, or using liquid aqueous chlorine dioxide on non-porous hard surfaces, the staphylococcus aureus bacteria can be not just avoided, but killed entirely.