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In response to the increased media attention regarding Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA, the Stanwood-Camano School District health team is sharing some basic information concerning skin infections. As always, the district health team has your student’s best interest and safety in mind.

Skin infections are not uncommon and the resistant type (MRSA) can be treated. The school nurse should be notified if your child has a skin infection.

Don’t let a skin infection sideline your student:

What is MRSA?
MRSA is a collection of different staphylococcus aureus strains that are resistant to some antibiotics and quite sensitive to others.  It is by no means untreatable.
 
What do MRSA infections look like?
Often a MRSA infection will look like a spider bite, a boil, abscess or turf burn.
 
How is MRSA spread?
MRSA skin infections are generally spread by skin-to-skin contact or by direct contact with the infected wound drainage. MRSA may also be spread by contact with contaminated surfaces or things such as sports equipment or personal hygiene items. MRSA skin infections are not spread through the air.
 
How do you prevent and control the spread of MRSA?
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer if water is not available. Avoid sharing personal items such as bar soap, towels, washcloths, razors, clothing or athletic equipment. Report any suspicious skin infection to your healthcare provider immediately. If you participate in sports, shower immediately after each practice, game, or match. Wear practice uniforms only once; wash with soap and hot water, dry in hot dryer. Avoid all contact with the skin infection of others.

For more information, contact your local health district in Snohomish County or Island County , or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Web site.