KCSD deals with second case of MRSA

From staff reports

FARWELL – The Keystone Central School District has reported a second case of a student contracting MRSA in just five weeks.

District Superintendent Dr. Alan J. Lonoconus issued a public statement Wednesday morning, saying school officials were “made aware that a student at Renovo Elementary School has tested positive for MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus).

“We are taking all necessary precautions and following school policy, which includes notifying the district, cleaning and sanitizing all common areas, restrooms, and locker rooms, and offering information to the public.

“We would like to remind all students and their families to practice cleanliness and good hygiene. Always take gym clothes and practice clothes home to be washed. If able, shower after in school and after school activities,” he said.

The district offered the following contact information for any parents or guardians with questions:

r Ms. Joy Grenell, RN Bucktail High School 570.923.1166 – jgrenell@kcsd.k12.pa.us

r Ms. Pam Porter, RN Renovo Elementary 570.923.2100 – pporter@kcsd.k12.pa.us

“The safety of our students and staff are our top priority,” he concluded.

It was Oct. 2 when the district reported that a student at Central Mountain High School had tested positive for MRSA, which can become an infectious bacteria.

MRSA is contagious. It can be spread from person to person.

One characteristic that makes MRSA a threat is its resistance to some antibiotics, according to medical journals.

MRSA is spread by contact.

So, a person could get MRSA by touching another person who has it on the skin, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Or, a person could get it by touching objects that have the bacteria on them. MRSA infections are common among people who have weak immune systems and are in hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care centers, the CDC says.

MRSA and other staph skin infections often appear as a bump or infected area on the skin that may be red, swollen or painful, warm to the touch or full of pus or other drainage MRSA is carried by about 2 percent of the population (or 2 in 100 people), although most of them aren’t infected.

Staph can enter the body through breaks in the skin and sometimes cause infection.

The main ways to prevent staph infection are to wash hands and care for wounds properly.

A Pennsylvania Department of Health fact sheet on MRSA offers basic information and advice on the infection. It reads, in part, as follows:

r What is Staphylococcus aureus? Often simply referred to as “staph” are bacteria commonly carried on the skin or in the nose of healthy people. Sometimes, staph can also cause an infection. Staph bacteria are one of the most common causes of skin infections.

Most of these skin infections are minor (such as pimples and boils) and can be treated without antibiotics. However, staph bacteria also can cause serious infections (such as surgical wound infections, bloodstream infections and pneumonia.)

r Who gets staph or MRSA infections? Staph infections, including MRSA, occur most frequently among persons in hospitals and healthcare facilities (such as nursing homes and dialysis centers.)

r Are staph and MRSA infections treatable? Yes. Most staph and MRSA infections are treatable with good wound care and, if needed, with antibiotics.

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