What is MRSA?
MRSA is a kind of Staphylococcus aureus, often referred to as “staph,” that is resistant to certain antibiotics such as methicillin, oxacillin, penicillin and amoxicillin. It is often resistant to many other antibiotics as well. Staphlylococcus aureus is a bacteria that is commonly carried on the skin or in the nose of healthy people. Approximately 25% to 30% of the population is colonized (when bacteria are present, but not causing an infection) in the nose with staph bacteria. Sometimes staph can cause an infection. Staph bacteria is one of the most common causes of skin infections in the United States. Most of these skin infections are minor; however, they may develop into skin abscesses or boils causing fever, pus, swelling or pain. Staph bacteria can also cause serious infections.
How is MRSA transmitted?
Staph, including MRSA, are spread by direct skin-to-skin contact or contact with shared items or surfaces that have come into contact with someone else’s infection, i.e. towels, used bandages, wrestling mats, or shared athletic equipment in the gym or field.
What precautions are being implemented by Holley School District?
- We are reinforcing hand washing with students as hand washing is the single most important method to protect against infection.
- Posters with proper hand washing technique are placed throughout district.
- We have a daily regimen of cleaning and disinfecting our schools. In addition, we will be implementing periodic double cleaning of common areas where bacteria and/or staph are most likely to exist.
- We use disinfectants that respond to MRSA in all aspects of our operations including school buildings, buses, athletics and food service.
What can you do as a family to protect yourselves?
- Practice good hygiene i.e. keeping your hands clean by washing with soap and water and showering immediately after participating in exercise.
- Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a clean dry bandage until healed.
- Avoid sharing personal items (i.e. towels, razors) that come into contact with your bare skin; and use a barrier (i.e. clothing or a towel) between your skin and shared equipment such as weight-training benches.
As always, the well-being of our students and staff is of the utmost importance to us at Holley. If you have any questions or concerns, or if your child displays symptoms of a staph infection, please do not hesitate to call us at 638-6316, ext. 2404.