Sunday, 21 October 2007 19:31
An antibiotic-resistant staph infection has reached western
Friday, Buncombe County students left with a note, warning
parents about the “superbug.” There have been three confirmed cases in the
district, and could be more, school officials say. It’s the same illness that’s
blamed for the death of a Virginia high school student last week. While it does
not respond to penicillin and the usual antibiotics, it can be treated with
other drugs. The “superbug,” also called MRSA, is spread by skin-to-skin
contact or by sharing an item used by an infected person. It is not an airborne
disease. While two of Buncome’s confirmed cases have been cleared to return to
school, the condition of a middle schooler is still unknown.
Health officials say hygiene is a must when trying to
prevent the infection. Always wash your hands, they say. When using soap,
lather in warm water for fifteen seconds. Hand sanitizer may be the best way to
prevent staph infections, some doctors say. Do not share items like towels or
razors, and always wipe down exercise equipment before use.
The “superbug” has frequented hospitals and other medical
facilities, but is gaining even more notoriety with recent outbreaks in
Over the weekend, ten students at Elizabeth City State
were confirmed to be infected with the bacteria.