Schools have staph plan

Published 12:01 am Thursday, November 29, 2007

VIDALIA — After several Louisiana students recently contracted staph at school, the Louisiana Department of Education has contacted all school districts about a contingency plan if the bacterial infection surfaces.

MRSA — or Methicillin-resistant Staphyloccusaureus — has gained national attention recently after several students across the nation died from the infection.

The Concordia Parish School District has a plan in place to prevent student contraction of staph, school district administrative assistant Lynda Cantu said.

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Part of that plan includes principals monitoring bathrooms and locker rooms to make sure all of the proper personal hygene items are available.

“It (the plan) is pretty basic,” Cantu said. “We have shared the information that our school nurse had, how to identify and care for staph if it is found in the schools.”

The school district has also ordered special cleaning materials to keep the bacteria away.

“These are not just regular cleaning products,” Cantu said. “These are products we special ordered for prevention.”

But the best way to prevent the bacteria from spreading is good hygene, Internalist Dr. Kenneth Stubbs said.

“It’s just standard hygene techniques, good hand-washing and cleaning any cuts, scratches or abrasions,” he said.

When dealing with someone who already has a staph infection, especially if you have to handle their clothes, Stubbs said to make sure to follow those steps.

“If they have a boil or skin infection, you want to be extra positive before you do anything else,” he said. “Wash your hands first. Don’t scratch your nose, don’t rub your eye.”

Even if someone does contract MRSA, it’s not the end of the world.

“MRSA is still sensitive to some relatively simple antibiotics,” Stubbs said. “Someone who gets it is still relatively easily treated.”

One of the best ways to resist the development of a drug-resistant bug is to avoid the overzealous use of antibiotics, Stubbs said.

“A lot of people will call a doctor and demand antibiotics for something that doesn’t call for them, and that only helps culture these resistant bugs,” he said.

“There is no indication that taking preventative antibiotics or using a topical cream on an area will do anything,” he said. “Fortunately, those bacterias that are resistant to drugs are rare.”