Student Dealing With Superbug

Friday, November 2nd 2007, 3:01 pm
By: News On 6

A student at a Tulsa school has contracted MRSA. A Union student was diagnosed with the drug-resistant superbug. News On 6 anchor Omar Villafranca reports Union Public School administrators say they are doing everything they can to keep other students safe.

On Friday, more than 14,000 Union School parents received a letter telling them a Union Intermediate student was diagnosed with MRSA.

The school found out just hours before parents.

“We were contacted actually today by the parent, and made sure that the area was covered and it is covered, it was covered and is being treated," Jarod Mendenhall of Union Public Schools said.

The school will not release the students age, name or grade, but we do know the student was in class on Friday and later went home with a parent.

Union schools officials say they've already started cleaning several classrooms and a locker room area where the student might have had class. School nurses are also on the lookout for more cases.

"All of our nurses at all of our sites are highly trained in this area, so they recognize it immediately and will make sure they get doctors care if they're notified," said Mendenhall.

School administrators urge parents to keep an eye on their child's bumps and bruises. But they say parents should remain calm.

"Parents really should not be worried. Again, typically, we're not even in a situation where you have to contact the community. We did this as a proactive step," Jarod Mendenhall of Union Public Schools said.

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

About 20% of people have staph bacteria, about 1% of those cases will mutate into the drug-resistant MRSA variety. Like with all germs, the best prevention is basic hygiene.

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

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

Watch the video: Student Diagnosed With MSRA

Related Stories:

10/4/2007 Doctors Warn About Dangerous Staph Infection

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