Early Staph Infection Symptoms

Staph infections are caused by staphylococcus bacteria which are usually found on your skin or the inside of your nose. If staph bacteria infect your bloodstream, urinary tract, lungs or heart, it can turn fatal. Generally, severe infections occur in people who are chronically ill or have severe weakened immune systems. Symptoms vary by location and how advanced the bacteria are. Early detection can help your doctor to treat a staph infection quickly and prevent the onset of more serious symptoms.

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Skin Infections

Skin infections are a common occurrence with staph infections. You may develop boils. Boils are pus-filled pockets that develop in the hair follicles or glands. Your skin will become swollen and the boil will become tender or even painful. Pus from the boil may drain or you may have to visit a physician to have the boil lanced and the pus drained. Boils commonly develop in the armpits, around the groin or near the buttocks. You might also notice a sensation of warmth around the affected area, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.


Impetigo is a contagious, painful rash. According to the Mayo Clinic, impetigo is most common in children but can affect adults as well. The rash involves the development of blisters which may break and drain. Impetigo typically develops around the nose and mouth.


Cellulitis is a condition that causes the skin to become red and swollen, changing the appearance of the hair follicles. Cellulitis most commonly occurs in the lower legs and feet of older persons, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Septic Arthritis

Septic arthritis is a form of arthritis caused by the staph infection. Septic arthritis occurs when the staphylococcus bacteria spreads to other parts of the body. Septic arthritis typically occurs in the joints such as knees, ankles, hips, wrists, elbows and shoulders.

Flu-Like Symptoms

Many patients who suffer from staph infections report experiencing flu-like symptoms, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. You may experience chills, a cough, headache or muscle aches. Some patients also report fatigue or malaise, a general feeling of illness. Your energy level may be low and you may find it difficult to perform common tasks.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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