- Last Updated on 11:41 AM 04/23/12
- BY Staff
School officials have verified that a confirmed case of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, has surfaced at South Boston Elementary School. The school sent a letter home to parents of all children in the school Friday informing them that MRSA had been positively identified at the school.
“We have a confirmed case of MRSA at South Boston Elementary School,” Deputy Superintendent Larry Clark said Friday.
Clark said the student who had the infection was attending school and is under the care of a physician.
Letters that have been sent home to parents in past instances of MRSA outbreaks have outlined the steps they can take to prevent the spread of MRSA, including frequent hand washing with soap and water.
Health department officials said MRSA bacteria are common in the environment. They are carried primarily on the skin of healthy people and are the cause of minor skin infections. One out of every 100 people is colonized with it, health officials said.
Staph bacteria, such as MRSA, can cause skin infections that may look like a pimple or boil and can be red, swollen, painful, or have pus or other drainage, according to the fact sheet released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The more serious infections may cause pneumonia, bloodstream infections or surgical wound infections.
In the 1990s, a different type of MRSA began showing up outside of hospitals and other healthcare facilities. The Mayo Clinic said in an article on its website that form of staph is known as community-associated or CA-MRSA.
MRSA is a form of staph that is resistant to antibiotics called beta-lactams. These include methicillin, oxacillin, penicillin and amoxicillin, according to Millie Lavaway, infection prevention and control practitioner for Halifax Regional Health System.
This strain of staph is responsible for a number of serious skin and soft tissue infections and also for a serious form of pneumonia. Health officials said said this form of MRSA can produce toxins, and if they become invasive they can spread through the bloodstream, making it much harder to treat.
For more information about MRSA, contact the Halifax County Health Department or a medical professional.