East Syracuse-Minoa: 'Superbug' hits home

Morrow has indicated to all area superintendents that the infection found here is a milder strain than the one further south, DeSiato said, adding that, to her knowledge, both ES-M students are doing fine.

MRSA prevention

The Onondaga County Health Department (OCHD) and the Centers for Disease (CDC) indicate that the best preventative measures include:

Keeping cuts and scrapes clean and covered with bandages;

Frequent hand washing (either with hot water and soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer);

Daily laundering of personal articles and hot drying of personal clothing items;

Refraining from sharing personal items, such as clothing, footwear, razors and towels.

What is Staphylococcus aureus?

It's a bacteria normally found on the skin or in the nose of 20 to 30 percent of healthy individuals. When S. aureus is present without causing symptoms, it is called colonization. If symptoms are present, it is called an infection.

What is MRSA?

It's a strain of S. aureus that is resistant to methicillin, an antibiotic in the same class as penicillin, and is traditionally seen in people who have been recently hospitalized or who have been treated at a health care facility.

What is CA-MRSA?

Community-associated MRSA infections (CA-MRSA) are MRSA infections in healthy people who have not been hospitalized or had a medical procedure (such as dialysis or surgery) within the past year.

Who gets CA-MRSA?

Anyone can get CA-MRSA, however outbreaks have been seen among athletes, prisoners, military recruits, daycare attendees, injection drug users and other groups of people who live in crowded settings and/or routinely share contaminated items. Poor hygiene practices, such as lack of hand washing, may spread the bacteria easily.

What are the symptoms associated with CA-MRSA infection?

They typically begin as skin infections, first appearing as reddened areas on the skin, or they can resemble pimples that develop into skin abscesses or boils causing fever, pus, swelling or pain.

How are CA-MRSA infections treated?

They can be treated by draining any abscesses or boils and providing localized care. Antibiotics can be given if necessary. When left untreated, CA-MRSA infections can progress to serious complications. Visit your health care provider if you think you might have a MRSA infection.

Source: New York State Department of Health

For further information on MRSA in schools, visit CDC.gov.

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