Staphylococcus is a group of bacteria that can cause a number of diseases as a result of infection of various tissues of the body. Staphylococcus is more familiarly known as staph (pronounced "staff"). Staph-related illness can range from mild and requiring no treatment to severe and potentially fatal. Common symptoms of Staphylococcus aureus food poisoning include: a rapid onset which is usually 1–8 hours, nausea, explosive vomiting for up to 24 hours, abdominal cramps/pain, headache, weakness, diarrhea and usually a subnormal body temperature. Symptoms usually start one to six hours after eating and last less than 12 hours.
In public acute care hospitals the incidence of MRSA infection has been around 0.5 per thousand patient days since 2003. This measure relates the infection as a function of bed occupancy (or length of stay). The incidence of MRSA infection per thousand discharges and deaths decreased from 3.0 in 2002 to 2.5 in 2006. This measure relates infection as a function of the total volume of patients.