MRSA hits SWCS
Cases involve Westland High School, Franklin Heights High School and Monterey Elementary School. According to Sandy Nekoloff, executive director of communications for the district, each school had just one student with the infection.
“These are isolated cases,” Nekoloff said. “The students likely did not contract the infection at school.”
Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a staph bacteria infection that is resistant to antibiotics. A staph infection is commonly carried on the skin or in the nose.
It is one of the most common causes of skin infections in the United States. According to SWCS, approximately 25 percent to 30 percent of the population is colonized (when the bacteria is present but it does not cause infection) in the nose.
According to the Franklin County Board of Health (FCBOH), most MRSA outbreaks are skin infections that may appear as pustules or boils, which are often red, swollen, painful or have pus or drainage. The skin infections commonly occur at sites of visible skin trauma, like cuts and abrasions. Nearly all MRSA cases can be effectively treated by drainage of pus with or without antibiotics. More serious infections, such as pneumonia, bloodstream infections or bone infections, are very rare in healthy people who contract MRSA.
The skin infection is normally transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact or contact with shared items or surfaces that have had contact with someone’s infection. For example, if you use a dirty towel that an infected person has used, you can contract the infection.
MRSA skin infections can occur anywhere. The FCBOH states that the five C's make it easier for MRSA to be transmitted. Those include crowding (frequent skin-to-skin contact), contact, compromised skin (cuts or abrasions), contaminated items and surfaces and lack of cleanliness. The location of the five C's are common and can include schools, dormitories, households and daycare centers.