October 19, 2007

MRSA Staff Verified at Norwell

The Banner: Deadly drug-resistant strain found at Norwell

21 Alive: MRSA at Norwell High School

Journal-Gazette: Superbug Staff Infection Hits Norwell

Lafayette AP report: Two Students at Two Schools

WTHR Indy: Staff Cases Show up in Indiana

The Indy Channel: Four Students Diagnosed with Superbug

See the comments section for this post for the Norwell Letter to Parents regarding fighting MRSA.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Here's a copy of a letter home to Norwell parents:

Dear Parents,

It has come to our attention that we have two confirmed cases of (CA-MRSA) community acquired-methicillin resistant staphylococcus and staph infections. Both cases involve Norwell athletes. Immediately upon learning of this infection, we implemented the following universally accepted steps to clean the areas of possible infection and we notified all students who utilized those areas:

• The athletic locker room and weight room were disinfected the first day.

• Both areas have been disinfected a total of four times this week.

• Athletic equipment, including tumbling mats, was disinfected.

• Athletes who stored their clothes and equipment at school were told to take their clothes and gear home for thorough cleaning.

• The School Nurse was notified of the situation, so she could notify local health agencies and make sure infected students were properly covering the infection.

• Letters were sent home with the athletes who utilize the areas suspected of being infected.

Some of you may not have heard of MRSA, a bacterium that is routinely carried on the skin or in the nose of 25-35% of healthy people. In most cases, this bacterium does not cause illness or infection; however, in rare cases, serious infection may occur. MRSA spreads via person to person contact, shared towels or soap, improperly cleaned equipment, etc. The physical signs/indicators of MRSA can be confusing as they often resemble a common infection, an insect bite, or a previous abrasion. An infected person may also have a fever, reddening of the area, increased skin temperature at the site of the infection, which might look like a skin lesion, a carbuncle or a boil. As MRSA can only be diagnosed through microbial testing, it is important to refer such conditions immediately to a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.

Procedures everyone can follow to protect against this infection

1. Keep hands clean by washing thoroughly with soap and warm water or using an alcohol- based hand sanitizer routinely.

2. Encourage immediate showering following activity.

3. Avoid whirlpools or common tubs. Individuals with open wounds, scrapes or scratches can easily infect others in this environment.

4. Avoid sharing towels, razors and daily athletic gear.

5. Properly wash athletic gear and towels after each use.

6. Maintain clean facilities and equipment.

7. Inform or refer to appropriate health care personnel for all active skin lesions and lesions that do not respond to initial treatment.

8. Administer or seek proper first aid.

9. Encourage health care personnel to seek bacterial cultures to establish a diagnosis.

10. Care and cover skin lesions appropriately before participation.

11. Any infection or draining wound needs to be covered with a clean, dry bandage.

If your son or daughter shows possible signs of infection, please have him/her checked by your family doctor. Our number one concern is with the safety of all students and staff at Norwell High School. This letter is being sent home with all high school students even though most have not been in contact with the areas of potential infection. Our hope is that this letter has answered your concerns and provided the information necessary for each student to avoid becoming infected with MRSA.

Note: Signature lines removed