Beaufort County school administrators say they have a plan in action to inform parents about the three MRSA staph infection cases.
They hope to send letters to a large number of parents to let them know about the infection, but say they don't want to infringe on the privacy of the students at the school, which they are still not publicly disclosing.
We asked other school systems if something like this has happened in their district. Information officials for Pitt County schools say, in the past two years, there were three isolated cases of MRSA, none in which students were in contact with. In Onslow County we're told they've had no cases and the same is true for Lenoir County.
The bacteria is called MRSA, which stands for Methicillin-Resistant Staph Aureus.
School authorities say the infections were first diagnosed last week. They maintain the situation is under control and say no parent or student should feel unsafe. Beaufort County school officials will not say which school or schools are involved, only that there are three cases. School nurses say the students infected are being treated appropriately, which will help keep the infection from spreading. School nurses also believe this is an isolated incident.
MRSA occurs most frequently among patients who undergo invasive medical procedures or who have weakened immune systems and are being treated in hospitals and healthcare facilities. It can also infect people in the community and generally shows as skin infections that look like pimples or boils and can be swollen, painful and have draining pus. This type of bacteria causes "staph" infections that are resistant to treatment with usual antibiotics.
MRSA is usually spread through skin-to-skin contact, contaminated surfaces and poor hygiene.
You can prevent the skin infection by washing hands with soap and water, keeping cuts and scrapes cleaned and covered, and by avoiding sharing towels or razors.