Staph infection
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      Part of series 1 of the CDC Museum set of Infectious disease trading cards, featuring photos and information about some of the infectious diseases that CDC studies.

      Staphylococcus aureus, called “staph” for short, is one of the most common germs found on people’s skin and in their noses. Most of the time it doesn’t do any harm. But sometimes staph gets into the body and causes an infection. This infection can be minor (such as pimples or boils) or serious (such as blood infections). Some staph infections may even kill you. Staph is usually spread through direct contact with another person, not through the air. That is why it is very important to wash your hands. In fact, everyone, especially doctors and nurses, should wash their hands to avoid spreading these germs to others. If you get hurt, you should keep the wound clean and covered to prevent a staph infection. If you do get a staph infection, and get an antibiotic (medicine), it is important to take your antibiotic until it is finished, even if you are feeling better. If you don’t, the staph germ may become resistant to the antibiotic.

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