• Info about Staph (MRSA)

    Making news lately is the latest round of infection to target children in schools: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, more commonly known as MRSA and on news reports called “the Superbug.” It is a form of staph infection.

    We are providing the following information to you for two purposes:  first, to assure you that Era ISD is taking appropriate steps to stop the spread of this infection, and second, to solicit your help at your home to do your part to prevent infection as well.

    Did You Know?

    • Staph is commonly found on the skin and in the nose of healthy people.
    • The bacteria that is staph has become more resistant to antibiotics (this is what is known as a “superbug” – a bacteria that does not respond to typical antibiotic treatments).
    • There are different strains of MRSA. The one making headlines in schools is called CA-MRSA, or community-associated MRSA.
    • CA-MRSA starts out by looking like a spider bite, but proceeds into large, weeping pustules.
    • CA-MRSA is spread (at school) through contact sports, the sharing of used athletic clothing, unlaundered towels, and equipment.

    Staphylococcus aureus ("staph") infections are not new. They can cause mild to severe illness.  Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a kind of staph infection  that may be more difficult to treat, but is otherwise the same as a "staph infection." It does not respond to routine treatment with some commonly used antibiotics, although other antibiotics are effective. Mild infections may look like a pimple or boil and can be red, swollen, painful, or have pus or other drainage.  More serious infections may cause pneumonia, bloodstream infections, or surgical wound infections.

    Staph is passed from person to person through direct contact with skin or with contaminated items. The bacteria may live in people’s noses and on their skin and most of the time they don’t cause any problem. Staph can enter the body through breaks in the skin and sometimes cause infection. The main ways to prevent staph infection are to wash your hands and care for wounds properly.

    Steps Era ISD Has Taken to Limit Transmission 

    • Our district nurse, and other appropriate campus personnel are trained in what to look for in case of infection and how to limit transmission.
    • Era ISD will refer students with possible MRSA infection to primary care physicians. 
    • We routinely encourage proper hygiene routines such as hand washing, and provide soap where appropriate, as well as antiseptic waterless hand gel rubs when soap and water are not available.
    • We strive to maintain sanitary conditions in locker rooms, restrooms, and other public places, and conduct deep cleaning weekly (more frequently if potential staph cases are suspected) in shared spaces.  Schools are cleaned daily using approved cleaners that kill a variety of bacteria and viruses, including MRSA.
    • Our athletic department washes athletic clothes, uniforms and towels daily with hot water (as appropriate) and detergent after each use.

    Practical Advice for Parents

    Clean wounds and cover them with a clean, dry bandage. Wounds that do not heal properly need medical attention. The only way to determine if an infection is caused by MRSA is through laboratory testing ordered by a physician or other health care provider.  If you suspect that your child has a staph infection, please take them to a doctor, and then inform the school nurse and campus administration.

     Teach and remind children to wash their hands regularly, such as before eating and after using the bathroom. They also should use the hand sanitizers that are available at school.

     Be sure your family members use antibiotics properly. Take all that are prescribed, even if the symptoms stop before the prescription is used up. Do not share prescriptions.

     Children who participate in sports should wash their hands after each practice and game. They should not share equipment, uniforms, towels, or other personal items, such as razors. Wash athletic clothes and towels with hot water and detergent after each use.