Elementary school student in Lowndes County diagnosed with MRSA - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Elementary school student in Lowndes County diagnosed with MRSA

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November 4, 2007

Valdosta -- MRSA has been around for decades, but when a Virginia high school student was said to have died from the infection over a month ago, it made headlines.

Recently cases have been reported at school systems around the country and Lowndes County joins the growing list of local school systems with MRSA cases; an illness that can't be cured, but can be prevented.

A Lake Park Elementary Student is said to be at home recovering after being diagnosed Friday with MRSA Staph, a contagious and anti-biotic resistant infection.

"The student is under medical care from the doctor, and we have every reason to believe it will be a full recovery," Lowndes County School Superintendent Dr. Steve Smith.

At a Sunday afternoon press conference, Smith addressed the steps the school system is taking as it deals with its first reported case of MRSA, which can be spread by skin to skin contact.

He said, "We are cleaning and re-cleaning every piece of school property that comes in contact with student's skin. And we've really made a concerted effort to convey to them that they need to wash their hands thoroughly."

Parents like Alesa Arnette, whose daughter is an 8th grade student, was alarmed by the news but says the schools have provided information about MRSA prevention.

"I think that the schools do a pretty good job. I feel comfortable going in the building. They seem to keep things pretty clean, and I think they teach the children that as well. You almost can't control it, but you're always worried about the safety of your children," she said.

While it is unclear where the child contracted MRSA, the Lowndes County School System is washing down everything from bathrooms to lunchroom utensils. And in an effort to inform parents and students, the systems website has updated information on the recent outbreak and further plans of action in preventing further cases of MRSA.

The name, age, and grade level of the infected student was not released. Lowndes' County School officials say no other students have been diagnosed with MRSA.

You can find more information on precautions the school system is taking by clicking on their website listed below.

http://lowndescounty.ga.schoolwebpages.com/education/components/whatsnew/default.php?sectiondetailid=1499&itemID=682&viewType=detail

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