Michigan urges schools not to rush into closing because of staph infections

Oct. 31, 2007
Having a MRSA case doesn't mean a school has to close, health officials say.

Michigan health officials have cautioned the state's school districts against rushing to close schools because of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, cases. Instead, health officials recommend that districts remove an infected student if his or her wound cannot be covered and clean the school. Schools also should conduct regular cleaning and make sure that students and staff follow basic hygiene -- frequently washing hands, cleaning equipment and surfaces and not sharing personal care items.
Click here to read The Detroit Free Press article.

From our archives: The contagious toxins that breed MRSA thrive in humid conditions such as those found in school's steamy locker rooms and restrooms.
Click here to read the entire article on MRSA.

EARLIER: The Pike County (Ky.) district has shut down all 23 of its schools today to disinfect the facilities. The action comes after one confirmed case of an antibiotic-resistant staph infection. The closing affects about 10,300 students.
Click here to read The Chicago Tribune article.

New York City health officials say that a Brooklyn middle school student who died earlier this month had become infected with the drug-resistant strain of bacteria known as MRSA. The victim was a seventh-grade student at Intermediate School 211. Over the last month, schools across the country have reported cases of students infected with the bacteria. Scores of schools have canceled events, closed buildings or sanitized them from top to bottom, and sent health warnings to parents by e-mail and letter.
To read The New York Times article, click here.

School officials around the country have been scrambling this week to scrub locker rooms, reassure parents and impress upon students the importance of good hygiene. The heightened alarm comes in response to a federal report indicating that methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is responsible for more deaths in the United States each year than AIDS. On Wednesday and Thursday, scores of schools were closed and events were canceled in Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia as cleaning crews disinfected buses, lockers and classrooms. More closings are planned on Friday. School officials in Mississippi, New Hampshire and Virginia reported student deaths within the past two weeks from the bacteria, and officials in at least four other states reported cases of students being infected. Click here to read The New York Times article.

ALSO: School officials in Troy, Mich., say a staph infection that caused the shutdown of Troy High School's athletic facilities earlier this week was not the drug-resistant MRSA. However, the potentially dangerous disease was confirmed in two more cases in Michigan--at Reuther Middle School in Rochester, and Clifford H. Smart Middle School in the Walled Lake Consolidated School District. Click here to read The Detroit News article.

As national estimates focus on an increase in serious infections caused by an antibiotic-resistant germ, officials in the Washington, D.C., region have identified more than a dozen cases among students and are organizing extensive cleanups of numerous schools. The confluence of circumstances, highlighted by the death of a teenager this week in Bedford County, Va., has put administrators and parents on edge and pushed the superbug, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), into the forefront of public attention. Click here to read The Washington Post article.

Following the death of a senior at Staunton River High School in Moneta, Va., from a staph infection and subsequent protests from students and parents, the Bedford County (Va.) district has closed schools for cleaning. Ashton Bonds died as a result of complications from Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA). Bonds is the third student at the high school diagnosed with MRSA since Oct. 1. The other two students have since returned to school. MRSA cases also have been confirmed at Jefferson Forest High School in Forest, Va., and Bedford Middle School in Bedford, Va.
Click here to read The Bedford Bulletin article.

SIDEBAR: Health officials in Texas have been sounding the alarm about seeing more serious staph infections. But the disease is not tracked statewide. The medical and athletic communities in Texas have been warning schools about staph infections for at least the last three years. Click here to read The Dallas Morning News article.

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