Outbreaks of a resistant strain of Staphylococcus Aureus (“staph”), referred to as CA-MRSA (community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) are becoming increasingly common in schools. Athletes involved in contact sports are at particularly high risk. CA-MRSA remains very treatable, but prevention plays a key role in avoiding potential outbreaks among athletic teams or in the community at large.
CA-MRSA commonly presents as a skin infection, like a pimple or boil. Treatment normally involves drainage of the wound or, if necessary, taking oral antibiotics. The occurrence of a CA-MRSA skin infection does not mean that a person is not clean or has been in an unhygienic environment. Some persons with no apparent risk factors for CA-MRSA infection may come into contact with the bacteria while they have a small break in the skin, and this can result in an infection in what had appeared to be normal skin.
Campbell Hall faculty, staff, and coaches have been advised to be on the lookout for students with large pimples, boils, or insect/spider bites, and to refer students with any such skin conditions to the nurse or athletic trainers for evaluation.
Preventive measures to guard against the spread of CA-MRSA include, but are not limited to, the following:
Athletes, especially those involved in contact sports, must wash their hands frequently.
Frequently touched or shared equipment, such as weight room machines or trainers’ tables, must be cleansed regularly with an approved disinfectant.
Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, washcloths, razors, clothing, or sports uniforms/equipment.
Uniforms, towels, and gym clothes must be transported home in a plastic bag and cleaned in a timely manner.
Students diagnosed with CA-MRSA must check in daily with a nurse or athletic trainer for treatment and assessment.
Infected wounds must be treated and covered.
What is Pertussis?
Pertussis (also known as whooping cough) is a very contagious respiratory illness that can affect persons of all ages and is spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Pertussis symptoms usually develop within 7–10 days after being exposed, but sometimes not for as long as 6 weeks.
What are the signs & symptoms of Pertussis?
In the beginning stages, the symptoms of pertussis may be similar to those of a common cold (runny nose, mild cough, low-grade fever) but they gradually progress over the next several weeks to fits of coughing, often accompanied by a whoop-like sound when breathing. Symptoms can get worse very quickly. You can learn more about pertussis at www.cdc.gov/pertussis or www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/ip. If you notice any symptoms in your child, contact your healthcare professional.
How is Pertussis spread?
People with pertussis usually spread the disease by coughing or sneezing while in close contact with others, who then breathe in the pertussis bacteria. Infected people are most contagious up to about 2 weeks after the cough begins. Adults may be a major cause for the spread of pertussis as many make sure their children get vaccinated, but fail to talk to a doctor about vaccinating or getting a booster, themselves.
How is pertussis treated?
Physicians may prescribe antibiotics to treat pertussis as it is caused by bacteria. As with a lot of illnesses, it is best to treat pertussis early. If you think you, your child, a family member, or caregiver may have pertussis, contact your physician right away.
What is Fifth Disease?
Fifth Disease is a highly contagious, benign, viral illness in children that is spread by respiratory droplets (coughing, sneezing). It begins with a low-grade fever, headache and cold-like symptoms. These pass and it may seem as if the illness is gone until a rash appears a few days later. The rash generally starts on the face, (“slapped cheek” appearance), and then a fine, red, lacy rash may cover the arms, legs, trunk, and buttocks. Pain and swelling of the joints may also occur. Symptoms usually appear within 4 to 14 days of being exposed. It is most contagious during the “cold like” symptoms. Once the rash appears, the child is probably no longer contagious.
How do you treat Fifth Disease?
Fifth disease is usually mild and will go away on its own for people who are otherwise healthy however if your child is experiencing any symptoms, please contact the doctor. Treatment typically involves relieving symptoms, such as fever, itching, and joint pain.
How do you prevent Fifth Disease?
According to the CDC, you can reduce your chance of being infected with Fifth Disease by:
• washing hands often with soap and water
• covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
• not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
• avoiding close contact with people who are sick
• staying home when you are sick