Beaufort County Schools Says It Has Plan To Notify Parents About MRSA

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.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous Location: Havelock on Oct 19, 2007 at 09:59 AM
    Our principle did not send out any notification of this infection until about 2 weeks ago. and it has been in our school since school started. he should have sent the notification out when he found out right away
  • by Sharonda Location: Grimesland on Sep 26, 2007 at 05:35 AM
    I don't think any of us are stupid to think that we can't contract MRSA from other places. The problem is that the school board did not do an adequate job in informing us of the 3 cases in that school. Why did we have to hear from the news about this? Why weren't letters sent home when they first discovered that 3 children were infected? That's the problem I have with this whole thing. I don't want to be told about something like this after the fact. And I agree that education is key- and WITN has done a great job in informing us about MRSA as well as the letters that were sent home by the school board. Just don't let us have to find out about something like this in the media is all we're saying.
  • by Rachel Location: Washington on Sep 22, 2007 at 01:08 PM
    I agree with all of you that say that Dr. Moss needs to be removed from office i feel that he is not here to help the children i feel he is here to help himself. He should have atleast let everyone know about the School that was infected and sent out letters to everyone before hand and not just about how to prevent it. I feel the Dr. Moss is a joke he should step down or resign. Anyone will to start a petition to remove him let me know and i will sign it gladly and so will a few other people
  • by anonymous Location: Columbia on Sep 22, 2007 at 05:30 AM
    Keeping your children home from school is not the answer--education is. Are you going to stay home from shopping, eating, church, work, or any social activities? My husband was in the hospital this summer and the first thing they did was test him for MRSA. I also had a friend who just buried her Father who died of Staph. He went in the hospital with a pinched nerve. It is all around us not just in your school system. The buck stops with each of us; stay educated, pay attention, and the you still may get it, but closing schools and destroying peoples charcter is not the answer, that is probably why the school system handled this the way they did.
  • by tam Location: gville on Sep 21, 2007 at 07:15 PM
    Go to the Centers for Disease Control( cdc.gov )and enter Community Acquired MRSA and it will give you lots of information. They have public posters just to address this. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/ar_mrsa_ca_public.html#4 Football and other athletic teams need to pay attention to this as they are vulnerable due to skin to skin contact and sharing towels and sports equipment.
  • by Anonymous on Sep 21, 2007 at 03:57 PM
    Staph/MRSA in the community setting do not require mandatory reporting except in cluster situations so the health departments and the school systems have no real idea how many cases are in the schools that are active. Make no mistake they are in all the county schools both public and private and there needs to be and should have already been education provided to the school staff, students and parents. Your local health departments have an obligation to support the schools in these educational endeaveors they are supposed to be your local resource and authority on public health matters.
  • by Tim Location: Washington on Sep 21, 2007 at 03:41 PM
    I have 2 children in the Washington school system now,and one who just graduated last year. I work with a heating and air condition company and we have done some work for the schools,and hospital in the county, I can tell you that you wouldn't beleive the stuff in the hvac systems and also the air ducts, also in Pitt county where I used to work, mold is in most of them. If they want to clean the schools, they need to clean and sanitize the hvac systems and ducts. Any licensed HVAC copany is qualified for cleaning the system and any company who is National Air Duct Cleaners certified can do the duct cleaning. I worked with one of them at a job we did at a operating room for a hospital before. We have worked on several buildings with health issues in them. The school won't be cleaned totally untill this is done, and ONLY then will the buildings be safe from MRSA. I feel the school system should be held responsible for anyone affected by this and stop trying to cover it up.
  • by Linda Location: Jacksonville on Sep 21, 2007 at 03:19 PM
    I am curious as to why your report did not include equal time for comments from a doctor with expertise in treatng MERSA patients. I guess spreading fear and getting comments from non-medical people makes better news than getting all the facts first. EDITOR'S NOTE: ON TWO PREVIOUS OCCASIONS THIS WEEK WE TALKED WITH HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS ABOUT HOW MRSA IS TRANSMITTED, PREVENTED AND TREATED.
  • by Sharonda Location: Grimesland on Sep 21, 2007 at 01:36 PM
    My son came home yesterday with a letter explaining how to prevent MRSA from spreading. That's too little too late considering it's been 2 days since we were notified through the media that a school had been affected. I will definitely be watching the news this evening to see the parent who's kids were infected last year.
  • by Anonymous Location: Pinetown on Sep 21, 2007 at 12:35 PM
    We as parents, should protest by not allowing our kids to go to school. Then dare them to fell our kids because of the number of days that they miss. When the staff show up and there are no kids, then maybe this will opening their eyes to clean the infected school!
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