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 Health & You:
What exactly is Staphylococcus?
Jul 30, 2015
By: Victor Adeoye

Nigeria: -

The thing about information is that we suffer more for the free, few simple things we don’t know than for the occasionally useful ’encyclopedia’ in our head.

Unfortunately, when it comes to health, it is the few negligible things that make the loudest statement.

My attention has been shifted to how some persons; I wouldn’t really say health practitioners because the qualified health practitioners know it is against the Hippocratic Oath to take advantage of ignorance, have taken advantage of patients.

I have seen adverts on the pages of newspapers, on staphylococcus as a very dangerous disease and ‘an all-rounder’ medication to eradicate it.

First, staphylococcus is not a disease; it is a micro-organism that is present on the skin, hair, nose and throat of people and animal. In a layman’s language, staphylococcus is legally present in some parts of our body.

There are some micro-organisms that are beneficial in our body and as long as they don’t leave their territory, they would eternally remain harmless and that is exactly where staphylococcus falls.

The cleanest and healthiest person has a reasonable amount of specie of staphylococcus (aureus) on their body and to this end; it is actually safe to say that the skin, needs this organism to remain what it is.

Staphylococcus can cause food poisoning when a food handler contaminates food and then the food is not properly refrigerated. Other sources of food contamination include the equipment and surfaces on which food is prepared. These bacteria multiply quickly at room temperature to produce a toxin that causes illness. Staphylococcus is killed by cooking and pasteurisation.

On the dangerous flip of staphylococcus, the personal hygiene of an individual has been a huge loophole for the organism to cause a disease in the body.

The last time you made your beans cake, how many personal hygiene principle did you keep? Thorough hand washing with soap, no nose-picking and the likes, are very essential to keep staphylococcus less dangerous.

Another critical thing that calls for concern is the hygiene level of the food vendors we patronise; we buy roasted corn and munch a big bite without cleaning our hands, the quality assurance of the food cannot be guaranteed too by the seller and these are what constitute the beginning of food poisoning.

Like every other developing ailments in the body, when staphylococcus is found in the wrong place (particularly inside the body), it births some symptoms that start reflecting after about six hours (incubation period) of contamination.

Likely signs are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, severe abdominal cramps and mild fever. Then, the individual could start feeling ill; this is the time where one needs to see a doctor and yes, a qualified doctor.

The immediate thing to do is to stay hydrated; drink as much water as possible before seeing the doctor.

Here are some highlights to what could really help one steer clear of staphylococcus according to experts.

Wash hands and under fingernails vigorously with soap and water before handling and preparing food, do not prepare food if you have a nose or eye infection, do not prepare or serve food for others if you have wounds or skin infections on your hands or wrists, keep kitchens and food-serving areas clean and sanitised, if food is prepared more than two hours before serving, keep hot foods hot (over 140° F) and cold foods cold (40° F or under) and store cooked food in a wide, shallow container and refrigerate as soon as possible. 



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