How Long Are You Contagious With Staph & How To Prevent Staph Infections?

Staphylococcus bacteria, also known as Staph in short are gram positive, coccal-shaped or round bacteria. These organisms, depending on the specific cause skin infections, pneumonia, endocarditis, food poisoning, toxic shock syndrome, and many other illnesses. Staph infections are contagious in nature and can spread from person to person. Now, how long are you contagious with staph and how to prevent staph infection? To know about these, read the following array of the article.

How Long Are You Contagious With Staph & How To Prevent Staph Infections?

How Long Are You Contagious With Staph?

It is well known that there are several varieties of Staph in their bodies; however, some researchers actually doubt about the contagiousness of some of the varieties of staph infections and believe that the infections may develop from overgrowth of these bacteria on the skin and mucous membranes. Despite this, it is known that if the environment is ripe for growth of bacteria an individual who comes in direct contact with an infected individual also contracts the infection. This is especially true is individual has a break in the skin or a small cut through which the bacteria can infiltrate the body. In such cases, Staph infections are considered contagious. Staph Infections cannot be transmitted with casual hugging or kissing an infected person.

However, there are certain species of bacteria that cause food causing by entering the body through contaminated food. This type of infection is not contagious as the infection is caused by toxins produced by bacteria from contaminated food and only those people who have eaten it get infected by this infection.

Now, let us come down to the topic, “How long are you contagious with staph?” Well, it can be stated that as long as an individual has an active infection, the staph organisms are contagious.

However, most staph skin infections are completely cured with antibiotics. The infection loses its contagiousness post treatment with a couple of days. Certain skin infections like MRSA need more aggressive treatment.

How To Prevent Staph Infection?

Staph organisms are commonly present even in healthy individuals. Sweat glands and nose are the areas are where these bacteria thrive in. This is the reason why it is very difficult to prevent a Staph infection. In majority of the cases, transmission of bacteria occurs through direct contact with an infected individual; however, active staph bacteria found on the surface of clothing, skins, and utensils that come in contact with the skin can cause staph infections, especially in an individual who has a bruised or a cut skin surface and comes in contact with the bacteria.

It is true that Staph Infection is contagious for the duration that the infection is active; however, there are some preventive measures that can reduce the risk factors. They include the following.

  • Try and avoid coming in contact with an infected person if you have scratches, cuts, wounds, or abrasions in the skin or cover the wound completely before coming in contact with the infected individual. This would prevent staph infections and other infections too.
  • Staph infections can be prevented by practicing good hygienic habits like washing hands before eating with soap and water.
  • Do not share towels or clothing with others.

If you work in a hospital setting, you can decrease the risk of contracting an infection by protecting yourself with face masks, hand gloves, and hospital gowns. It should be noted that people admitted to hospitals for any reason are at a greater risk of getting a Staph infection as their immune system is compromised due to illness, intravenous lines are excellent for bacteria to infiltrate the body. Site of surgical incisions, tracheal tube insertion site all provide excellent ground for bacteria to penetrate. So, keeping the sites of the penetrated skin clean and covered with sterile dressing helps in preventing the infection.


There are several ways of treating staph infection and also many home remedies to treat Staph infection. However make sure that before you go for any treatment or home remedy, do consult with your doctor. It is also recommended, to talk to your healthcare provider about the preventive measures for staph infections.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 31, 2018

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