Archive for Thursday, November 8, 2007

District educates parents about MRSA

November 8, 2007

Although De Soto USD 232 has no reported cases of the antibiotic-resistant staph infections, letters are being sent home to inform parents.

Other metro schools have reported cases that are the same antibiotic-resistant "superbug" that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently said were more common than once thought. New data showed more than 94,000 people developed antibiotic-resistant staph infections in 2005. Nearly 19,000 died. The official name of the strain is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. When left untreated, MRSA can progress to a more serious illness.

Staph infections are common, said Nancy Tausz, disease containment division director with the Johnson County Health Department.

"This type of infection is just out there," she said. "It's old. It's nothing new. It's always in the community."

What does MRSA look like?

A spider bite

Turf burn

An abscess

A large, red, painful bump under the skin

A cut that is swollen, hot and filled with pus.

How is MRSA transmitted?

Direct skin-to-skin contact

Contact with shared items or surfaces that have come into contact with someone else's infection.

How do I keep from getting MRSA?

Wash hands with soap and water or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer.

Shower immediately after exercising.

Avoid sharing personal items (towels, razors) that come into contact with bare skin.

Use a barrier (towel, clothing) between your skin and shared equipment such as weight-training benches.

Maintain a clean environment by establishing cleaning procedures for frequently touched surfaces and surfaces that come into direct contact with people's skin.

How is MRSA treated?

Your doctor may give you an antibiotic or drain the infection.

Source: Johnson County Health Department's Web site, http://health.jocogov.org.

For more information on MRSA, visit www.cdc.gov/Features/MRSAinSchools.

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