Advisory: Local Siblings Diagnosed With MRSA

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AVON, OH (WOIO) - 19 Action News has learned that two siblings attending separate schools have confirmed cases of MRSA.

The first case comes from Heritage South Elementary School and the other child is a student athlete attending Avon Middle School.

The Avon Middle School student athlete has been hospitalized.

MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a type of staph infection that can resist many antibiotics.

Recognize the Signs and Symptoms of Infections

Most staph skin infections, including MRSA, appear as a bump or infected area on the skin that may be:

  • Red
  • Swollen
  • Painful
  • Warm to the touch
  • Full of pus or other drainage
  • Accompanied by a fever

Heritage South Elementary emailed parents about the alert Wednesday evening and Avon Middle School sent a letter home Wednesday afternoon.

Here's the letter from Avon Middle School:

September 30, 2009

Dear Parents/Guardians:

This is to advise you that on Wednesday afternoon, September 30, 2009, we were informed a student at Avon Middle School has MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus).  The student is involved in fall athletics at AMS and is hospitalized to treat the infection.  We are appreciative the family came forward allowing us to communicate and work together to prevent the spread of this bacteria.  We are confident the quick actions by the parents will result in a speedy recovery and hope to see the student back at school soon.

From what we know about MRSA, early detection and attention provide the best opportunity for successful treatment.  MRSA is a concern for the School District, faculty, staff and parents alike.  I am writing to inform you the Ohio Department of Education, CDC and Ohio Department of Health, contain important information to help families understand measures that can safeguard their health.

Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a type of "staph" infection that is resistant to many antibiotics and frequently causes skin infections.  Common signs of a skin infection include redness, warmth, swelling and tenderness.  Often a MRSA infection will look like a spider bite, boil, abscess or pimple.  If left untreated, it could progress into a more serious illness.

I also want to reassure you that our District has taken a proactive approach to this problem and has instituted measures to help prevent the spread of bacteria, germs and MRSA.  Our custodians clean all areas regularly with a disinfectant.  While the Health Department does not necessarily recommend special cleaning of schools when a MRSA case is reported, the schools have performed extra cleaning and disinfecting in the cafeteria, gyms, locker rooms, and classrooms to help bring peace of mind and to assure we are doing all we can to help prevent the spread of the bacteria.  MRSA bacteria live on the skin and may be introduced into your child's environment at any time.  In order to prevent this from happening, effective hand washing, body cleanliness and wound care remain the primary means to prevent the spread of such infection.  We are communicating and emphasizing this in the buildings, through our athletic department and to our community.  Early treatment of MRSA cases is important.  If your child shows any symptoms of MRSA, be sure to consult your health care provider as soon as possible.

Your child can protect themselves from infections by practicing good hygiene (e.g., keeping their hands clean by washing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand rub, and showering after games and practices); covering any open skin area such as abrasions or cuts with a clean dry bandage; avoiding sharing personal items such as towels or razors; using a barrier (e.g., clothing or a towel) between your skin and shared equipment; and wiping surfaces of equipment before and after use.

Please be assured that the District is taking all necessary steps to ensure that our school is disinfected to prevent the spread of MRSA as part of our continuing effort to protect the health and safety of our students and staff and to deal proactively with the situation.  We will remain in close contact with the Health Department as to what we can do to provide the safest environment for our school community.  The prevention and control of MRSA requires the entire community's cooperation, so please take the time to read and observe prevention measures as well as what should be done in case your child should exhibit any symptoms.  Finally, any information you provide to the District concerning your child will be held in strict confidence.

Thank you for your cooperation.


Craig D. Koehler

Principal, AMS

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