West Virginia health officials have issued an alert to school nurses, among others, warning about infections from staph skin bacteria that are resistant to usual antibiotics. The bacteria, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aurea, or MRSA, can be easily spread by skin-to-skin contact.
Several football players in high schools in two West Virginia counties have become infected in the past two months.
“Anybody who has the potential for skin-to-skin contact or sharing equipment should be concerned,” said Dr. Danae Bixler of the state bureau of public health.
The advisory urged school personnel to be attentive to good hygiene to prevent the spread of the bacteria. Mrsa had been largely confined to health-care settings, such as hospitals and nursing homes. Complications of the skin infection can be serious, health officials said.