When it comes to staph infection in the nose, it is caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. The bacteria are already present even among newborns within the first week of life. The presence of the bacteria does not generally result to an infection. Most of the symptoms triggered by staph infection in the nose are at the sites away from the nose. The infections that are triggered by staph localized in the nose can be a combination with other symptoms at distant areas.
What are the local symptoms?
The colonization of the nose with staphylococcus aureus will not cause an active infection or manifestation of the local symptoms. The actual nasal infections as with Staphylococcus aureus are generally secondary infections after a flu, cold, surgery, inflammation or other trauma to the nasal membranes that changes the first line of defense filtering provided by the nasal passages. Bacteria that typically colonize the nasal passages are capable to actively invade the local tissue and reproduce which starts an immune response.
There is yellow to green mucus discharge in the nasal passage and the throat which is an indication of an active immune reaction. The other symptoms include nasal congestion or stuffed nose, cough, sore throat, fever and pain in the nasal membranes. As the infection progresses, the sinuses are involved which results to fever, headache, pressure in the sinus cavities and chills. The headache usually varies in intensity with position and vanishes shortly after getting out of bed.
What are the distant skin symptoms?
Whether the skin is infected or colonized with Staphylococcus aureus, the presence of the bacteria sets up for auto-inoculation of the distant skin sites. These symptoms include furuncles or boils, pimples, carbuncles, cellulitis, impetigo and abscess.
Pimples are pustules that are packed with pus. These typically manifest on the neck, face, chest or upper back. The furuncles or boils are nodules or pustules that are sore and usually develop on any part of the body including inside the nose and characterized by a reddened area surrounding a middle core.
Carbuncles are a group of furuncles that develop anywhere on the skin and cause death of the surrounding cells with the formation of drainage tracts or sinuses. As for cellulitis, it is the inflammation of the soft or connective tissue and involves a water-like exudate that spreads through the tissues that can result to ulceration or abscess. An abscess is described as a cavity filled with pus that is formed by the disintegration of the local tissue. Take note that an abscess is quite sore and requires drainage.
What are the symptoms of invasive disease?
The invasive diseases that are caused by staph from either infection of the nasal membranes or colonization are life-threatening and require immediate medical care. Examples of these invasive diseases include pneumonia, scalded skin syndrome, endocarditis, otitis media, toxic shock syndrome, osteomyelitis, meningitis, sepsis and bacteremia.