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St. Clair Shores

November 13, 2013

Lakeview student being treated for MRSA

By Kristyne E. Demske
C & G Staff Writer

UPDATE: Student also a teacher cadet at Greenwood Elementary; superintendent comments on situation

A student at St. Clair Shores Lakeview High School is being treated for MRSA, according to a letter posted on the school’s website Nov. 11.

Although a student at the high school, the district reports the student is also a teacher cadet at Greenwood Elementary School; thus, parents in both schools were notified of the infection.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus bacterium, or MRSA, is a strain of the staph bacteria resistant to typical antibiotic treatment, but in the letter Lakeview Principal Brent Case points out that staph, itself, is a very common infection.

Case said in the letter that the district sanitizes and disinfects surfaces that come in contact with students or staff on a regular basis. Also, because of MRSA in the area, the Lakeview district has used a hospital-grade disinfectant — which combats the MRSA strain and other broad-spectrum microorganisms — since 2005 as its sanitizer and disinfectant in the school. During the week of Nov. 11, he said that all surfaces that come into contact with students, staff or parents would be cleaned with the product.

High-traffic areas, he said, are being sanitized on a daily basis.

“Lakeview Public Schools continues to take a proactive position with respect to the health and safety of our students and staff,” said Superintendent Karl Paulson in a statement. “We also feel fortunate to have parents who are willing to inform us of these kinds of important health issues so we can be proactive in maintaining a healthy environment.”

According to the Center for Disease Control, a staph or MRSA infection can cause skin infections that look like a pimple or boil and can be red, swollen and painful and have pus or other drainage. More serious infections can cause pneumonia, bloodstream infections or infections of surgical wounds.

Also according to the CDC, in most cases, it is not necessary to close schools because of a student’s MRSA infection. According to the letter sent to Greenwood Elementary students, the infected student will be restricted until cleared of the infection. Transmission can be prevented by washing hands with antibacterial soap or hand sanitizer on a regular basis and by covering the infected area.

Case goes on in the letter to point out that the most common form of transmission is through person-to-person touch, as the bacterium does not survive well on door handles, desktops or other fixtures.