How long does it take for a staph infection to kill you?

This is a valid question that anyone with a staph infection should ask. Now, it will interest you to know that there’s not one answer that fits all.

Staph infections, caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, can be dangerous and even potentially life-threatening. While many staph infections can be treated with antibiotics, some cases can be severe, with some strains of the bacteria being resistant to antibiotics.

For instance, toxic shock syndrome is a very deadly staph infection with a higher mortality rate than staph skin infections such as a boil.

How long does it take for a staph infection to kill you

Types of Staph infection and their deadliness

Staphylococcus aureus is a major causative agent of many deadly Staph infections. Since it’s naturally found on the skin, it generally causes a lot of skin infections that are however curable.

The time it will take for a staph infection to kill a person is usually dependent on some key factors. They are, the type of staph infection and the treatment method utilized.

Without wasting much time, here’s a list of the types of staph infections.

Staphylococcal neonatal infections

  • Skin lesions with or without exfoliation. A part of the skin that is abnormally large or small compared to its surrounding skin. Eczema and acne are typical examples. These are deadly.
  • Bacteremia. According to CDC, 119,000 bloodstream staph infections occurred in 2017, and nearly 20,000 people died from bloodstream staph infections. It has a high killing rate of 14% -37%.
  • Meningitis. It is a devastating disease that affects the meninges, the membrane of the spinal cord, and the brain. Research has found that people with this infection die within 24 hours.
  • Pneumonia. This is an infection of one or both lungs which leads to the inflammation of the alveoli. It is fatal

Staphylococcal skin infections

  • Impetigo. In most cases, impetigo produces large blisters and crusts that appear honey-colored. This infection is contagious but not deadly.
  • Cellulitis. Your skin becomes reddened and swollen because of it. if left untreated, cellulitis can progress and become life-threatening.
  • Furuncles and carbuncles. Usually, a hair follicle or oil gland will develop a pus pocket. Boils occur most often under the arms or around the groin or buttocks. A carbuncle is a collection of boils.
  • Necrotizing skin infections. It causes patches of tissue to die. If left untreated, they can cause death in a matter of hours.

Staphylococcal bone infection

  • Staphylococcal osteomyelitis. An infection of your bone’s soft tissue called bone marrow may cause swelling of the soft tissues inside your bones, which can lead to the death of the bone without treatment.
  • Staphylococcal infectious arthritis. It is common for bacteria to infect the knees, shoulders, hips, and fingers or toes. Artificial joints may also be at risk of infection. Joint swelling and severe pain are common symptoms.

Toxin-mediated staphylococcal infections

  • Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome. A fever, rash, and blisters are common symptoms of this condition which affects mostly babies and children
  • Staphylococcal food poisoning. Staph infections in food usually do not cause a fever. Signs and symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Dehydration and low blood pressure are also possible.

Staphylococcal endocarditis

Staphylococcus aureus is usually the cause of acute bacterial endocarditis, but brucella and listeria can also be responsible.

What are the chances of surviving a staph infection?

The chances of surviving a staph infection are very high especially when given proper treatment. Your lifestyle and predisposition to other illnesses have a lot to do with the chances of surviving a staph infection also.

For instance, people given pneumonia treatment often respond well and recover in a matter of weeks.

What Next?

Infections are not to be taken lightly. If you have an infection and you haven’t seen a medical professional, do not waste more time. See your doctor today.

Because Staph infections left untreated can be very deadly.


Last Updated on September 13, 2023 by Our Editorial Team

1 thought on “How long does it take for a staph infection to kill you?”

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