Staph Strikes; BHS Strikes Back

posted under by Skuna River Review
By: Kathryn Hathorne

Staph is short for staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium that is encountered daily and found mostly on the skin and in the nose of healthy people. Another, more dangerous type of staph known as Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcusaureus (MRSA) is resistant to some antibiotics and that makes that germ harder to treat. However, MRSA can still be treated with alternative antibiotics.

MRSA usually I usually found in hospitals and health care units, but it usually is not common for the germ to be widespread throughout a community; however, it is showing up in places other than hospitals more frequently, and lately, it tried to find its way into Bruce High School. "Bruce High School is taking steps to carry out all medical guidelines and help prevent staph for the betterment of our students," said Mark Grubbs, BHS principal.

The BHS faculty has been informed is doing their part to help distribute prevention information. The football locker rooms are being mopped with Clorox and all equipment is sprayed with a special staph resistant spray. Players who are infected or carrying staph are instructed to use their own towels and equipment. Dr. Bruce Longest, team physician, said, "The key to reducing staph infections is to wash your hands frequently with hot water and soap, keep all cuts and sores covered, and basically just keep up good hygiene." Dr. Willie Wells concurred saying that he was taking measures at his clinic to help prevent the spread of staph by washing hands after each patient, using sterilizing techniques, and keeping countertops and floors clean.

MRSA does not spread through the air or water, but is usually transferred through a cut in the skin exposed to a surface with MRSA on it. Crowded living conditions and poor hygiene can also lead to development of MRSA. It does not pose a threat to life in healthy people with healthy immune systems.

The Mississippi State Department of Health is working with MRSA clinics and providing guidelines for schools and students, along with information on prevention. Students are instructed to wash their hands regularly or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Students should not share personal items with anyone who is infected.


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