A variety of factors — ranging from the status of your immune system to the types of sports you play — can increase your risk of developing staph infections.

Current or recent hospitalization

Despite vigorous attempts to eradicate them, staph bacteria remain present in hospitals, where they attack the most vulnerable, including people with:

  • Weakened immune systems
  • Burns
  • Surgical wounds
  • Serious underlying health problems, such as diabetes mellitus

Invasive devices

Staph bacteria can travel along the medical tubing that connects the outside world with your internal organs. Examples include:

  • Dialysis
  • Urinary catheters
  • Feeding tubes
  • Breathing intubation
  • Intravascular catheters

Contact sports

Staph bacteria can spread easily through cuts, abrasions and skin-to-skin contact. Amateur and professional athletes have spread staph infections by sharing razors, towels, uniforms or equipment.

Jun. 09, 2011