Nickname: Staph aureus
Morphology: Gram-positive cocci in grape-like clusters
Habitat: Lives on the human body, especially on the skin and in the nose; it also lives on animals.
Disease or illness: Can cause a variety of infections like pimples, boils, impetigo, food poisoning, toxic shock syndrome, blood infections (septicemia) and bone infections (osteomyelitis)
Who is at risk: Even healthy people with cuts, wounds or breaks in the skin; more serious risk to persons with a weak immune system
Avoidance techniques: Keep skin clean with regular bathing; wash cuts and wounds before bandaging; practice good hand washing and good personal hygiene especially after playing with pets, and before handling food; refrigerate food and avoid contamination.