South Georgia Schools take staph precautions - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgia Schools take staph precautions

October 23, 2007

Albany --  Schools across the nation are cleaning gyms, lockers, anyplace where bacteria can spread. They are trying to make sure an antibiotic-resistant strain of  infection doesn't infect students.

Donna Gleaton has been teaching the third grade for 14 years, and knows how quickly germs can get around in the classroom.

"If strep throat goes through the classroom, we get it too. Then we take it home to our families," she said.

But the new fear to hit classrooms across the country is MRSA.

"Public health is working with the community and the school system to educate them about staph," said District Epidemiologist Jacqueline Jenkins.

 Jenkins has been traveling to school systems around the district to help make sure that the super bug doesn't take South Georgia's school children by storm.

"We are working with school systems to make sure they have good hand washing protocol, making sure they have soap, hot water, and hand sanitizer."

A practice that Donna is making sure she and her students do consistently.

"We use hand sanitizer before we go to lunch. We use hand sanitizer and soap in the hallway after we use the restroom also. Even when they blow their nose, I get them to use it. So we have hand sanitizer by the box of tissues."

Parents need to monitor their child's skin for the bacteria infection.

"A staph infection looks like a pimple or a boil and if your kid has it you need to let the school nurse know."

But the number one way to prevent MRSA from infecting your child is to make sure they wash their hands constantly.

The super-bug is treatable, but require a less-common antibiotic.