More MRSA Cases Reported In Green Country

Wednesday, November 7th 2007, 7:17 pm
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Eight more cases of the staph infection MRSA have been reported by area schools, including Tulsa and Broken Arrow, but health officials say the kind showing up in schools is most often a skin infection that responds well to treatment.

Two additional cases of MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphlycoccus aureus, were reported Tuesday in Tulsa Public Schools, bringing the district's total number of confirmed cases to eight.

Broken Arrow Public Schools confirmed six cases in that district.

Oklahoma City school officials said they have had no reported cases of MRSA this year. Norman Public Schools reported that a middle school student was diagnosed with MRSA last month, but has since returned to school.

The reported local cases are not thought by health-care experts to be serious if treated.

The potentially fatal cases "are only the invasive cases," said Christine Pearson, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. "If you look at MRSA, most often it causes a very mild skin infection. Typically, it's a pimple or a boil that is drained and treated with or without antibiotics; it depends on the situation."

MRSA gets serious when it gets beyond the skin and tissue and into the bones or blood, she said.

Laurence Burnsed, director of the state health department's communicable disease control division, said most of the cases in and around Tulsa appear to be isolated incidents that are being grouped together partially because of media attention.

Whether the confirmed cases were reported in media because of other incidents, or whether the diagnosis was a result of parents and school officials being more informed by coverage, Laurence Burnsed said there may not be any more MRSA cases this year in Tulsa than in years past.

For more on MRSA including symptoms, treatments, and prevention click here.