Resistant Staph Germ Poses School Health Concerns
A school district in southwestern Virginia shut down for a day of deep cleaning last week in the wake of a student death attributed to a virulent strain of bacterium and a national report indicating that such infections may be more common than previously thought.
Researchers based at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta say that methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus , or MRSA , infections represent a “major health-care problem” and are linked to an estimated 18,600 U.S. deaths in 2005, compared with the estimated 17,000 people who died of AIDS in the U.S. that year. Once seen as just a problem in health-care settings, the infections are now popping up among the otherwise young and healthy, including cases of two high school students in Nashua, N.H., earlier this fall, and 14 cases reported since August in the Montgomery County, Md., school district. Two other children have died of MRSA infections in October, according to press reports.
But while school districts have reported engaging in intensive cleaning to quell the spread of the bacterium, experts say that frequent handwashing is one of the best ways to prevent MRSA infection. Students also should not share towels and sports equipment, and should always shower after...
This article is available to subscribers only.
To keep reading this article and more, subscribe now or start a 2-week FREE trial.
- Princeton Public School District, Princeton, NJ
- Elementary Principal
- Forest Grove School District, Forest Grove, OR
- Assistant/Associate Professor, Literacy
- Regis University, Denver, CO
- Perspectives Charter Schools, Chicago, IL
- Director of School Support
- The Achievement Network, Multiple Locations