Staphylococcus. The Dreaded Name Nigerians Fear.

Take a trip to any major motor park or market and find a corner to sit and observe the sights and sounds around you. Listen especially for the mobile herbal drug sellers.

I was at a popular motor spare part market in Lagos some time ago and listened as a local herbal drug seller bombarded the airwaves advertising his wares. I naturally wouldn’t have paid any attention but as he was using a really ‘loud’ loud speaker I had no choice but to listen. My ears pricked as what he was saying slowly filtered into my brain.

Maybe I wouldn’t have had any problem with him if he was saying his drug was a general cure for all diseases (as they always claim), but he picked a specific name and practically libeled it blaming it for possibly every disease and condition under the sun from backache to STDs to erectile dysfunction. With gusto he kept shouting and blaming Staphylococcus. I was livid, surely staphylococcus couldn’t be blamed for all these myriad conditions.

I watched a Nollywood movie recently in which a doctor told a couple that their test result was out and they had staphylococcus! The wife turned in utter shock, disbelief and despondency at her husband, her life was literally over and it was his fault. Staphylococcus! What a shameful man.

There are certain things we should know about Staph, one is that it is one of those ‘normal’ organisms found on our skin, in our nose, nails etc, it can also be found on surfaces. Sometimes when a laboratory test shows growth of Staph, it is often due to contamination of the sample during handling.

So is Staphylococcus a sexually transmitted infection?

Staph is not considered a Sexually transmitted infection but it can be transmitted from skin to skin contact e.g.during sex.

So what kind of infections can Staph cause?

Staph can cause many infections such as boils and skin infections, food poisoning and urinary tract infections

Can Staphylococcus kill you?

It is quite unlikely that staphylococcus would kill you except of course it leads to a more serious infection and you refuse to treat or don’t use appropriate antibiotics.


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