School Officials Answer Parents Questions After Five Confirmed Staph Infection Cases

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email

An eastern Kentucky high school student is doing fine after doctors diagnosed him with the antibiotic-resistant infection MRSA back in August.

The student is just one of a few other confirmed cases of Staph infection at East Ridge High School in Pike County.

WYMT’s Marie Luby found out what school officials are doing to keep students safe, and re-assure parents.

Pike County Schools Director of Pupil Personnel Bill Dotson is busy answering questions from concerned parents after school officials confirmed at least five cases of Staph infection in the district.

“We're spraying in all the shower rooms, the locker rooms, we're sanitizing all those areas,” Dotson said.

One of those cases is a student at East Ridge High School.

His mother doesn't want his name released but says her son just finished treatment for MRSA, a type of Staph infection resistant to some antibiotics and spread through physical contact with infected people or with objects contaminated with the bacteria.

Doctors caught this student's MRSA before it led to more serious health problems, but his mother still worries about close quarters at school.

Officials say most MRSA cases are treatable, and Dotson says school officials are following directions from the local health department to keep students safe.

“I want them to be concerned about their children but I hope that they trust us, that we're doing the right thing,” Dotson said.

Dotson says a team of professional cleaners will sanitize all schools in the Pike County district, starting in the next few days.

All Morgan County schools will be closed Wednesday due to a Staph infection.

A Morgan County High School student has a confirmed case of the drug resistant "Superbug." as a result, all Morgan County schools will be closed--so all buildings and school buses can be disinfected.

There are a few simple things you can do to protect yourself from a Staph infection.

You should wash your hands often. Doctors say this will kill any bacteria that you may pick up throughout the day.

Keep all wounds covered until they are completely healed.

Don't share personal items like razors or towels.

For more information on these visit
http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/MRSA.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/ar_mrsa_ca.html


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by E.H Location: EAST RIDGE on Oct 28, 2007 at 06:03 PM
    I think that East Ridge should have been shut down back in August when they knew about the first case. My son goes to East Ridge and he says that East Ridge is a very nasty school. The teachers,and principles lied to the childern and parents .Saying ther where no cases of MRSA at EAST RIDGE, and told the kids to hush up about it. PIKE COUNTY is just worried about the next dollar they are going to get for each child that shows up for school that day. Us the parents of the children that goes to this school has some fine personnel at our fingertips now dont we.
  • by EVETTA Location: EASTRIDGE on Oct 28, 2007 at 02:15 PM
    I THINK THAT THE SCHOOL SHOULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING BEFORE NOW. THEYSHOULD HAVE NEVER LET IT GO THIS LONG,AND PUT OUR KIDS AT RISK.
  • by Parent at Feds Creek Elem. Location: Feds Creek Pike County on Oct 25, 2007 at 11:03 AM
    I think PIKE COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD NEEDS TO THINK ABOUT OUR KIDS HEALTH INSTEAD OF ANOTHER DOLLAR IN THERE POCKET. SHUT THE SCHOOLS DOWN UNTIL THEY ARE CLEANED. I KNOW IF WE LET OUR KIDS MISS SCHOOL WE GO TO JAIL. SO WHAT GOING TO HAPPEN IF SOME OF THESE KIDS DIE BECAUSE THE SCHOOL BOARD IS TO CONCERNED ABOUT THE MONEY THEY WILL LOSE.PIKE COUNTY IS ALWAYS LAST TO DO ANYTHING FOR OUR KIDS. CLEAN OUR SCHOOLS!!!!
  • by jenny Location: pike county school systems on Oct 25, 2007 at 06:28 AM
    How is MRSA spread? There are several ways this infection is believed to be spread: Hand Carriage, Contaminated Surfaces, Contaminated Instruments, Via Airborne Particles, Shared Items, Needles, Sexual Intimacy. Now please tell me how many times a science teacher or any teacher for that matter has time to disinfect shared items our children use? And when this does occur, how often is it that our children are allowed the chance to go wash there hands properly
  • by jenny Location: pike county school systems on Oct 25, 2007 at 06:27 AM
    Statistics: While MRSA has been around for more than 40 years, only recently has it been cropping up in places like schools. But health experts are not sure if it is actually becoming more common. "There is a very much increase awareness. Because we don't keep counts, we don't keep records, it's not a reportable disease. We can't say if there's been an absolute increase or not. So basically what the Health Department and the Pike County School System is telling us: we don’t keep a record, its not a recordable disease, we don’t keep counts and are not required to? I say this is pure Bull!! Are our children not important enough to keep records and statistics as to why this is starting to occur more in schools than in the previous years
  • by jenny Location: pike county school system on Oct 25, 2007 at 06:26 AM
    Now let us look at the treatments and protection: Basic hygiene is the best protection against MRSA. Thorough hand washing is a must, which includes washing hands before preparing or eating food; after touching any skin lesions or clothing contaminated by drainage from lesions; and after using the toilet or diapering a child. Keep cuts and abrasions clean and covered with clean, dry bandages until healed. Follow your health care provider’s instructions on proper care of wounds and avoid contact with other people’s wounds or material contaminated by wounds. There are also recommendations to avoid sharing towels and personal items, such as razors and deodorant. Lets brake this down even farther. How many times do our children get to wash there hands before Lunch or even after using the restroom. Our children don’t even have time afforded to them to make it to there Lockers without being late for the next class….So handwashing is out of the question
  • by jenny Location: pike count schools on Oct 25, 2007 at 06:25 AM
    Let us review some basic facts on MRSA. This is a very dangerous infection and poorly resposive to even the most potent of antibiotics. Treatment can often include IV antibiotics such as Vancomycin which carry significant risks of it's own. The CDC reports 90,000 serious infections and 17,000 deaths per year - that is per year almost 5X the number of deaths in the entire Iraqui war. Identification of the source is key. Antibiotic resistance is not just the widespread utilization in the treatment of humans but also it is the unecessary utilization in other areas
  • by Jenny Location: Pike County School Systems on Oct 25, 2007 at 06:24 AM
    What a way to go Pike County and what a great example to set. Actually your telling every child that are in the East Ridge and Elkhorn City Schools they mean nothing to you but Money. Morgan County can have 1 known case of MRSA and the school system closes the schools and gets in there and disinfects these classrooms, but the largest county in Kentucky cant do the same utterly disgust me as a parent. I am sending my children back to school due to the class time they are missing, the fear that they may fail, and the fear of the repercussions as a parent being thrown into the court system
  • by Jennyq Location: East Ridge and Elkhorn City Schools on Oct 25, 2007 at 06:23 AM
    The Parent note is being signed under duress. This is a very sad day in the life of a Pike County Parent of a child in school. When School Board Officials, Prinipals, Teachers, and Health Officials can keep schools open with known cases of MRSA in the schools it’s a very sad day. Is Pike County such a broke county that you need each child there for the money you get for every student in class, even under such unhealthy conditions? When a school board member can tell me that the schools are being cleaned up and sanitized with children still in these schools is like me telling them, I cleaned my bathroom at home while I had one in the bathtub, one using the sink to brush their teeth and one using the toilet.
  • by kaycee Location: pike on Oct 24, 2007 at 05:17 PM
    They took the hand sanitizer out of the classrooms in Pike Co., my children carry their own. I think the schools should be closed and a professional, thorough cleaning performed. Pike Co. closes schools for sporting events and funerals I am sure Mr. Wagner won't mind closing a day or two to possible save a life.
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