Cases of MRSA reported at several Mid-South schools - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman

Cases of MRSA reported at several Mid-South schools

Over the past several weeks, cases of a drug resistant staff infection known as MRSA were confirmed at Hernando Elementary School, at a Sumner County elementary school in Middle Tennessee, and in Obion County where classes were cancelled for two days.

At the root of MRSA is staphylococcus aureus, better known as staph. It's a very common type of bacteria that most often causes minor skin infections, but can cause more serious illnesses like pneumonia.

The germs are most often spread through direct physical contact, or in some cases contact with contaminated surfaces.

In several Mid-South school districts where staph infection was reported school remained in session.

That's because it was not the antibiotic-resistant MRSA. It was a less serious form of staff infection on the skin. The number of cases is unknown.

While doctors are obligated to report MRSA, Minor Staph infections on the skin are not reported to the health department.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, good hygiene and keeping the wound covered are often enough to prevent the germ from spreading.

"I think it's also important for parents to realize that the vast majority of staph infections that kids come in contact with are not going to cause these serious, invasive infections and more importantly, these infections can be prevented," says CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding.

Prevention is the best strategy against any form of staph so lather up. The CDC says, frequent hand-washing and surface cleaning are still among the most effective ways to stop staph.

Click here to email Anna Marie Hartman.

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