More MRSA Cases Reported

Monday, November 5th 2007, 8:49 pm
By: News On 6

MRSA, a deadly infection is spreading through Green Country schools. The News On 6 has learned there are 13 confirmed cases of the drug-resistant staph infection. News On 6 anchor Omar Villafranca reports both students and teachers have tested positive for MRSA. Six people tested positive in Tulsa Public Schools, Muskogee has had at least five confirmed cases, Union and Owasso each know of one case of MRSA, and doctors are checking to see if a second Owasso student has the super-bug.

On Monday, the administration at Jones Elementary, where at least one student has been diagnosed with MRSA, took action, disinfecting the school.

In music class dozens of little hands shake, bang and play the instruments in Mrs. Blalock class. When the music stops she wipes down the room with disinfectant.

"I would prefer to put more emphasis in it, than to not put any at all and have something really bad happen," substitute teacher Lushuna Blalock said.

Mrs. Blalock keeps hand sanitizer and wipes handy for all the kids to use. She also keeps an eye out for any cuts and bruises that require a trip to the nurse's office.

"If we see anything, if we notice something or if a child brings something to our attention, the first thing we do is get our medical personnel involved," said Blalock.

One student tested positive for MRSA at Jones Elementary. One sick student means the school must disinfect close to 300 lockers everyday. Every water fountain, door handle and soap dispenser will also get swabbed to protect students.

"It's during bathroom breaks, recess time, lunch periods, kids when they're coming in in the morning, we're always on the lookout," substitute teacher Lushuna Blalock said.

"We are taking all the precautions we need to take,” Jones Elementary Principal Howard Benyon said. “We just want to be proactive. We just want to make sure the building is safe."

The ways to prevent MRSA include:

  • Wash hands often

  • Wash towels, uniforms and other laundry in hot water and ordinary detergent, and dry on the hottest cycle

  • Do not share towels, razors, soaps or other personal items

  • Clean and cover all wounds

Staph infections, including MRSA, usually start as small red bumps that resemble pimples, boils or spider bites. The bumps can quickly turn into painful, deep abscesses that need surgical draining.

The bacteria can also burrow deep into the body, causing potentially life-threatening infections in bones, joints, surgical wounds, the bloodstream, heart valves and lungs.

Here are some warning signs to look for to determine if a wound needs medical attention:

  • Longer than normal healing time

  • Any increase in size

  • Unexplained or unusual pain or sensitivity

  • A heat sensation

  • Abnormal swelling or redness

  • Red streaks around the wound

  • Abnormal coloration

To learn more about Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, including prevention, click here.

Watch the video: MRSA Affects Local Schools

Related Stories:

10/4/2007 Doctors Warn About Dangerous Staph Infection

10/17/2007 Concerns About Drug-Resistant Staph Bacteria

11/02/2007 Student Dealing With Superbug

11/03/2007 A Second School District Dealing With MRSA

11/04/2007 More Diagnosed With MRSA

11/5/2007 13 Reported MRSA Cases In Local Schools