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Video:Staph Infections in Children

with Dr. Roy Benaroch

Staph is the abbreviated name for a bacteria which commonly infects the skin. Learn more about staph and how it may affect children in this About.com video.See Transcript

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Transcript:Staph Infections in Children

Hi I’m Dr. Roy Benaroch pediatrician in private practice near Atlanta, Georgia and I’d like to talk to you about symptoms and diagnosis of staph and MRSA infections.

What is a Staph Infection?

Staph is short for Staphlococcus aureus, a bacteria that’s a very common source of infections, especially infections in the skin. It can also more rarely infect the lungs or bone, or really almost everywhere—though the majority of infections are in or just under the skin.

What is MRSA

One newer variety of Staph is “MRSA”, sometimes pronounced “Mersa", which stands of methicillin resistant staph aureus. It’s resistant to many antibiotics, and it’s also more virulent, causing especially boils and skin abscesses. Though it’s resistant to many antibiotics, there are some antibiotics that still work well to kill MRSA.

Recognizing and Treating Staph

Infections in the skin with staph, whether ordinary staph or MRSA, appear as red, warm areas. They’re tender and swollen and may ooze or crust. Sometimes, a patient with a staph skin infection will feel sick and have a fever, but not usually. Treatment involves first draining the infection, if this is possible. That’s the most important step—in fact, if you can open and drain a staph abscess, antibiotics may not even be necessary. However, some infections can’t be drained, so we rely on oral antibiotics, especially Bactrim or clindamycin or in adults tetracyclines.

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