Staph Infections Are A Common Sight - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

10/31/07 - East Texas

Staph Infections Are A Common Sight

by Donna McCollum

Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus , or MRSA is not a pretty sight, but is now a common one for health professionals in Nacogdoches and Lufkin. Health clinics average two to three cases a day. Nurse practitioner Susan McDonald explained,  " It has mutated. Instead of being sensitive to the real common antibiotics we've used on kids for generations, it's become so resistant that it's only sensitive to a select few antibiotics."

A student in the Woden School District is taking the medicine. The child is not alone. Staph infections are on educator's radar screens, right up there with TAK's scores. Woden  superintendent Wayne Mason said,  " It's something that all schools are very aware of.   We put out foggers. We wipe desks. There are precautions every school is taking and will continue to take."

Schools do allow children with staph infections to return to class. The risk of infecting others can be minimized with proper precautions. McDonald said,  " Usually if you've been on the antibiotic for about 48 hours and you are taking care of the drainage and you're just not, you know draining pus all over the place, yes you can go back. "

While more common at schools, staph can affect people of all ages. The bacteria enters through any opening in the skin. A small scratch or bite can turn into a nasty boil in just a couple of days.

Fortunately, the opportunist bacteria can be warded off by a simple practice. McDonald advised, " Wash your hands. It's that simple. Wash your hands. Wash, wash, wash, and that reduces the bad bacteria." A doctor's order that should be followed by people of all ages. For more information about mrsa: www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/health/antibiotic_resistance  

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