MRSA cases in an East Tennessee high school

MAYNARDVILLE, Tenn -- An East Tennessee High School is dealing with two confirmed cases of the drug resistant Staph infection known as MRSA.

The school is still open but some family members still have their concerns.

The cases of MRSA are considered isolated and no students are considered at risk.

Both confirmed cases are of teachers but school officials are still taking extra precaution to try and protect students from getting MRSA.

Jessica Sharp is one of many concerned family members in Union County, after hearing word of MRSA cases at Union County High School.

"It’s not just only the students that would be getting it, it's their families and everything," she said.

And with a 15-month-old in their house, Sharp just wants to know exactly what's in the school.

So a note was sent home, with more information about MRSA and 2 cases isolated to teachers.

"The kids are probably just getting nervous because they don't want to catch it,” she said, “but if it's spreading around than that's something to be concerned with."

Health Coordinator Eddie Graham says the first case was back around Thanksgiving so they took extra steps to sanitize and protect the students' health.

"Three weeks after that situation we have another case,” said Graham. “That teacher is now in the hospital recovering and doing well."

They both had the drug resistant staph infection or MRSA which can cause skin infection.

To kill bacteria that may be around the high school, they've been using a special fogging machine that disinfects a room in minutes.

"We've been using that religiously in the school,” said Graham. “We had been all year, but we've kind of shifted to gearing it towards the classrooms and hallways and that kind of stuff."

Other steps to protect against MRSA are up to the students, such as simply washing hands and keeping cuts covered.

"Keep personal things personal,” said Graham, “in other words, don't share towels and those types of things," says Eddie.

Since there are only 2 confirmed cases, this is not being called an outbreak.

School officials say it would have to be 3 or more cases to get it to the point where school would need to close, so they feel students are safe.

If you have a skin infection that requires treatment, ask a doctor if you should be tested for MRSA, since that form of staph infection is resistant to drugs.


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