A letter sent home to parents of students in Meridian Public Schools advises precautions to stop the potential spreading of MRSA, or Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. The letter was dated Dec. 8.
According to the Mayo Clinic, MRSA, which is often called "staph" is a strain that's resistant to the broad-spectrum antibiotics commonly used to treat it. MRSA can be fatal.
According to the clinic's Web site, most MRSA infections occur in hospitals or other health care settings, such as nursing homes and dialysis centers. More recently, another type of MRSA has occurred among otherwise healthy people in the wider community. This form is responsible for serious skin and soft tissue infections and for a serious form of pneumonia.
The MPS letter, attributed to the district's school nurses, stated that it can be spread through close skin to skin contact, openings in the skin like cuts and abrasions, contaminated items and surfaces, crowded living conditions, and poor hygiene.
The letter advised parents that staph can live in people's noses or on their skin, and it's a common cause of skin infections that include pimples and boils, and can lead to more serious infections in the body.
There are precautions parents can take to help protect their children.
* Hygiene is the best prevention against MRSA infection.
* Keep your hands clean by washing thoroughly with soap and water, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
* Care for wounds properly. Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed.
* If you are involved in sports, be especially aware of scrapes or broken skin.
* Avoid contact with other people's wounds or bandages.
* Avoid sharing personal items such as towels or razors.
* Keep surfaces and equipment clean. Disinfect with a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water (1 1/2 cups bleach in 1 gallon of water).
* If you have a skin infection that is slow to heal, or has spreading redness or swelling, see a doctor.
You may click the link below for more information from the Mississippi Department of Health.