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Staph infection diagnosed in student

McDuffie County School Superintendent Mark Petersen said Thursday that an elementary school student had been diagnosed with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). MRSA can lead to life-threatening bone or blood infections if left untreated.

"Although the Center for Disease Control approves infected individuals to be in the general public as long as lesions are covered, a local doctor has recommended the student be excluded from school until lesions are no longer... a threat to classmates," Dr. Petersen said in a letter to parents on Thursday.

Dr. Petersen asked principals at McDuffie County's seven schools to send a packet to parents, which included the letter explaining some of the symptoms and ways to prevent the spread of MRSA. The packet also contained a fact sheet from the Division of Public Health that listed symptoms, precautions, photos and instructions on what to do if infection is suspected.

"We certainly believe there is no danger to students in our schools," Dr. Petersen said Thursday afternoon. "However, we want to make sure parents and students are as informed as they can be about this situation."

In regards to the current case and possible future cases, Dr. Petersen said school, desks and other items used by the infected student will be immediately effectively sanitized.

Web posted on Friday, November 02, 2007

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