Staphylococcus aureus was found to be present on the hair of about 10% of people having no hospital contact and on that of about 50% of patients with skin diseases.
The `resident' carrier rate was higher in patients with eczema and psoriasis than in others and appeared to be related to carriage of the organisms on the skin.
Much of the `transient' carriage could be attributed to contamination from other sources in the ward.
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