Massapequa high school student did not have MRSA

Dr. Sapna Parikh has the story from Massapequa, Long Island.
February 28, 2014 5:38:09 PM PST
A scare for students and parents at a Long Island High School after the school put out an alert saying a student was diagnosed with MRSA.

It turns out the student at Massapequa High School didn't have the deadly bacteria.

Thursday a notice on the district website said a student was diagnosed with MRSA, a resistant staph bacterial infection.

"I was kind of taken back that's how they're telling parents, I have many friends, some don't even go on the portal," said Liz Schwind.

Liz's son is a student at the high school. She says a lot of parents found out through Facebook, through the Massapequa moms group.

"That's how I learned and when my daughter came home from dance she said they were all talking about it," said Chris Ophals.

MRSA a type of bacteria that's resistant to some commonly prescribed antibiotics. It starts as a skin infection and can be dangerous if it enters the blood stream.

But after inquiries, the Nassau County Health Department requested laboratory results, and late Friday afternoon confirmed the student did not have MRSA.

School officials say they were notified by the students family that the student was diagnosed over the recent break. That student has since stayed home.

"It's pretty common in the community these days, community acquired MRSA has been around for a while," said Dr. Joseph Zito, ER Physician at St. Joseph's Hospital.

Dr. Zito says MRSA skin infections are so common, doctors often treat before laboratory confirmation.

"Because MRSA has become so common we treat these patients with antibiotics either way," he adds.

The bacteria can be found on just about any surface. To protect yourself and your kids, keep all scrapes and cuts covered. School officials here say they thoroughly cleaned the school and buses already but will now update the website and send emails telling parents that the student did not have a MRSA infection.