Virginia Student Dies From MRSA

Virginia school officials say they are shutting down 21 schools for cleaning, after the antibiotic-resistant staph infection MRSA killed a high school student.

This is the same bacteria that has been detected in schools in Beaufort and Craven counties.

Ashton Bonds died Monday after more than a week in the

Health and education officials say staph infections, including
the resistant strain, have been spreading through schools
nationwide in recent weeks. Many of the infections are spread in
gyms and locker rooms, where athletes, some with cuts and
abrasions, share sports equipment.

Bonds' mother says the senior went to the hospital earlier this
month, complaining of pain in his side. Doctors were not able to
diagnose the infection until it had already spread to his kidneys,
liver, lungs and the muscles around his heart. Veronica Bonds now
says she wants people to understand how sick the staph infection
made her son.

A new government study out says more than
90,000 Americans could get MRSA. One of the study's co-authors says the findings underscore the need for better prevention measures, including curbing the overuse of antibiotics and improving hand-washing and other hygiene procedures.

Experts say someone dies with MRSA every half hour in the United States and deaths from the bacteria could surpass deaths from AIDS.