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Health and school officials advise parents about MRSA

Three confirmed cases of MRSA, a staph skin infection, have been found in two Sunrise Elementary students and one middle school student recently.
Richmond Superintendent Jim Robins issued a letter to all parents yesterday, informing them about the communicable disease and precautions to take against it.
MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is resistant to certain antibiotics. It appears as small red bumps that resemble pimples and are normally found on the back of legs, arms or neck, according to Stacey Cox, Ray County Health Department director. The swollen area usually has a puffy center and is warm and painful to the touch. If a child has these symptoms, Cox parents should bandage the staph-infected area and seek medical attention. Left untreated, infected areas can turn into deep, painful abscesses.
“Another thing to look for is fever. This is an infection,” she said.
Because MRSA is transmitted by touching contaminated surfaces or sharing personal items, students are asked to thoroughly and frequently wash their hands with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand cleanser.
Student athletes are particularly at risk due to direct contact with people and equipment. They are asked to shower after all practices and games, clean equipment before use, not to share towels and to use liquid, not bar soap, according to the district letter.

PRECAUTIONS AGAINST MRSA
• Wash hands thoroughly and often with soap and warm waterKee
• Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with bandages
• Avoid other people’s wounds and bandages
• Avoid sharing personal items, such as towels and razors
• Wipe surfaces of exercise equipment before use, or use towels or clothing as barrier
• Wash sheets, towels and clothes in hot water and detergent when soiled
• Notify a parent, coach or teacher about any skin sores

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