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Infectious Diseases

Staff infection (skin)

04/07/2003

Question:

My son has sores on his body that, to me, look like infected boils. His cell mates that have this are being told that it is a staff infection and are being treated with antibiotics. Should they be isolated to keep this from being spread? He is the fourth one to get it.

Answer:

"Boils" are also known as furuncles and are commonly caused by "staph" (which is scientifically known as staphylococcus aureus). This is a bacteria which is spread person to person but generally requires close contact for spread. If four people in the same cell have developed boils it would be very reasonable to isolate them until the infection is eradicated from all of them.

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Response by:

Peter Grubbs, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati