Tags: Grand Prairie Elementary
MRSA case identified at Grand Prairie
'Superbug' found in elementary student
April 29, 2009 | 12:22 AM
Grand Prairie staff and District 157-C administration took extra precautions Thursday, April 23, after a confirmed case of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus surfaced in a Grand Prairie student.
The strain of staph bacteria resistant to some antibiotics appeared in a District 157-C school for the second time since January 2008.
The district learned of the confirmed case the evening of Wednesday, April 22.
The affected student was not in school leading up to the diagnosis, Superintendent Dr. Robert Madonia said. There is no indication the student contracted the infection while in school, he added.
MRSA can be transmitted by direct contact with broken skin or direct contact of broken skin with contaminated surfaces. Sharing of personal items such as towels and clothing also increases the risk of MRSA transmission.
Once the student's family informed the district, a letter was sent out across the district, informing parents and advising them to take necessary precautions, including visiting a doctor if concerned about their child's condition. If a doctor diagnoses a case of MRSA, the parents are then asked to contact the school.
The letter was also posted on the district's Web site, at www.fsd157c.org.
Madonia spread the news throughout Grand Prairie and also across the district, while custodians at Grand Prairie made extra sweeps of the school for an extensive, "intense" cleaning.
Simple steps like hand-washing can help reduce chances of spreading the infection, Madonia said.
The district educated parents on the situation as early as possible after receiving the news.
"It's been our philosophy to be proactive, rather than reactive," Madonia said.
"We believe in getting the word out, educating people about the incident," he said. "We don't want to put it out there to send people into a panic."
The student is being treated and will return to the school non-contagious.
Tips to reduce risk of contracting MRSA:
Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed.
Avoid sharing personal items.
Disinfect all hard surfaces before and after use.
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