Staph: The Hidden Training Hazard October 10, 2016 09:00

In the movie "Jaws," actor Roy Scheider was able to get the better of a monster, a killer great white shark. But in real life, the macho actor succumbed to an entirely different kind of monster after he was weakened by cancer.

The National Football League spends millions on revamping its 32 teams' training facilities, installing state-of-the art hygienic safeguards and educating its coaches, trainers, and doctors about maintaining proper hygiene in training. And still its players are often felled by the same monster that killed Scheider.

Hospitals create educational campaigns, plaster their walls with informational posters and caveats, and encourage their staffs to keep equipment sterilized and practice good cleaning habits. Yet the monster remains one of the top four post-operative complications.

Responsible for 18,650 deaths nationwide a year—150 percent as many deaths as caused by AIDS—the monster is microscopic, extremely aggressive, and damned difficult to kill. The monster is a microbe called Staphylococcus.