Eastern Kentucky Schools Shut Down After MRSA Scare

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) - An eastern Kentucky school district plans to shut down all its schools Monday to disinfect them because of the spread of MRSA.

Pikeville school superintendent Roger Wagner says principals will supervise the cleaning of classrooms, bathrooms, cafeterias and hallways. Buses and external areas such as playgrounds and sports fields will also be disinfected.

MRSA, or "methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus," is a strain of staph infection that is resistant to antibiotics. It can be treated with other antibiotics, but without treatment, the bacteria can be deadly.

School districts and several jails around Kentucky have reported possible cases of MRSA. The disease has been blamed for the death of a 17-year-old Virginia high school senior this month.

The Pikeville school board has also hired a private company to clean all school locker rooms. Schools will receive additional cleanings on November Fifth and Sixth, days that are scheduled off-days for the students.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-10-27-07 1015EDT

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