3rd case of MRSA confirmed in Bridgewater

September 28, 2010 2:25:47 PM PDT
Parents in New Jersey are being warned of an outbreak of a staph infection after three students got sick.

"I feel, and my family feels, all precautions have been taken, and it's safe for my child to continue going to the school," parent Marci Lotter said.

The Bridgewater Raritan school district has been steadily posting updates about the MRSA outbreak on its website.

Three students, a senior and a freshman football player at the high school and the freshman's brother at Eisenhower Intermediate School, were all infected with the staph bacteria. MRSA is known to be resistant to most anti-biotics and easily spread.

"I heard 2 or 3 were infected after they shared football uniforms, and they had to clean the weight room. My concern is that we use that sometimes for gym," senior Jake Wilgocki said.

The district spent the weekend disinfecting all of its 11 schools, and putting preventive measures in place.

"They cleaned out the locker rooms for the gym, and I'm sure they did the same thing for the field house," senior Ariel Soto said.

MRSA is a common bacteria that may appear as a pimple or boil. If left untreated, it can enter the bloodstream or lungs and become serious.

Marci has a child at Eisenhower.

"We have Purell. We wash our hands. They know about door knobs. We're taking all the extra precautions," she said.

One freshman football game was cancelled last week after the player tested positive. Students are hoping the all clear comes before other school activities are affected.

Officials recommend the following steps to prevent further spread of MRSA:

  • Wash hands with soap frequently
  • All practice clothing and uniforms must be laundered daily
  • Clothes worn after practice or games must be laundered before being worn again
  • Shower immediately after or as soon as possible after practice and games
  • Do not share towels, clothing, or equipment
  • Towels must be air dried in a dryer, not hung dry in locker rooms or hangers at home
  • Avoid body shaving
  • Cover cuts and scrapes
  • Wipe equipment such as helmets, goggles, and pads with alcohol frequently
  • Report undiagnosed skin infection or lesions to an athletic trainer, school nurse, and/or physician
  • Report medically confirmed cases of MRSA to the school nurse or school administration

    Additional information can be found at CDC.gov/MRSA/index.html and NJ.gov/health/cd/MRSA/index.shtml