Archive for Thursday, November 8, 2007

District taking staph precautions

November 8, 2007

A student at Eudora High School student has been diagnosed with methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, which is a type of bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics.
According to school district officials, the student was not infected at school, but the district still sent a letter home with students to let parents know that preventative measures were being taken and "the school has undergone a complete disinfection process."
Eudora Superintendent of Schools Marty Kobza said that this was an issue of student safety that and the school district understood the gravity of the situation.
"We want to make sure students are safe in everything that they do from, so we do take it (staph infections) seriously," he said.
Danielle Young, school nurse for both Eudora Middle School and High School, said that the preventative measures being taken were nothing that the school hadn't already been doing.
"The janitors do a really good job of making sure that everything gets cleaned and sanitized," she said. "And we're constantly talking to students, which is something that's gone on all year and even before then."
According to the Centers for Disease Control, staphylococcus, or staph, are bacteria commonly carried on the skin of healthy people. Staph can cause minor skin infections that can be treated without antibiotics. MRSA is a staph infection that is treatable, but is resistant to antibiotics such as methicillin, penicillin and amoxicillin.
MRSA certainly is a serious concern and awareness of MRSA has been on the rise because of a CDC study in mid-October that stated MRSA kills more people (19,000) than AIDS (17,000).
However, staph infections are nothing new, and the keys to stopping them aren't either.
The CDC suggests four ways to preventing MRSA:
¢ Keep your hands clean by washing thoroughly with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
¢ Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed.
¢ Avoid contact with other people's wounds or bandages.
¢ Avoid sharing personal items such as towels or razors.
There currently aren't, nor have their ever been, any MRSA outbreaks or clusters in the Eudora. What is spreading, though, is awareness, and Young says that is positive.
"One good thing that's come from this is that kids are talking to their parents and parents are talking to their kids," she said.

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