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http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/10/18/mrsa.cases/index.html

This is one of the reasons why it's important to wash your hands often.


Bacteria that killed Virginia teen found in other schools


NEW YORK (CNN) -- Students at a high school in Virginia prepared Thursday for the funeral of a popular classmate, the victim of a deadly drug-resistant strain of bacteria that has turned up in schools across the country recently.


School bus driver Crystal Madelle cleans her bus with bleach and water Wednesday in Bedford County, Virginia.

1 of 2 It's called MRSA, short for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and is responsible for more deaths in the United States each year than AIDS, according to new data.

Ashton Bonds was a senior at Staunton River High School in Moneta, Virginia, who was diagnosed with MRSA.

"I was standing beside his bed and ... I said, 'Baby, we're supposed to be having a graduation this year, you've got to come up out of this and get better,' " his mother, Veronica Bonds, remembered. After struggling with the infection for a week, the 17-year-old died on Monday.

Students at his school organized a rally, saying the school needed to be cleaned up before they went back to class.

"If we sent the whole student body back into the school, then more people would just come down [with] it and maybe even result in another death," student Chelsea Woods told CNN. "So we sent out a bunch of text messages, got on MySpace and posted a few bulletins, and decided to have a rally around the flagpole to make sure this doesn't happen again."

Another Staunton River student, Ashleigh Shuffler, told CNN's "American Morning" she took the school superintendent on a tour of the school.

Officials closed all 22 schools in Bedford County for cleaning this week.

The situation at Staunton River High was not an isolated incident.

On Wednesday, school officials in Connecticut confirmed that one student at Weston High School and one at Newton High School had been diagnosed with MRSA. In Rockville, Maryland, at least 13 students have been diagnosed with MRSA.

Cases have been reported in Ohio, Michigan and other states. Although school principals have observed that the bacteria predominantly affects student athletes, cases have been reported in children of elementary school age as well.

Pat Mshar, an epidemiologist for Connecticut's Department of Health -- which contributed data to the JAMA study -- said the consolidation of statistics was groundbreaking.

"This is the first time that we've been able to measure this in a population basis in which we've been able to quantify the impact," she said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, some 25 to 30 percent of the population carry staphylococcus bacteria -- one of the most common causes of infection -- in their bodies. While such infections are usually minor, invasive MRSA infections can become fatal because they are caused by drug-resistant staph.

Dr. Julie Gerberding, the director of the CDC, says these infections are not new. "It's important to appreciate that many of these infections are the same infections moms have been dealing with for decades. They're very preventable," she says.

"If you see a skin infection that looks like the redness is getting bigger or if it's associated with a lot of swelling around the wound or if the individual has a fever, those are reasons to definitely seek doctor's attention. But most of the time these are things that can be treated with the same kind of common sense approach that is we've been using for years."

Mshar emphasized that the highest rate of MRSA deaths -- 58 percent -- is found in hospitals.


"The healthy person in the community -- like the high school student -- generally is going to be able to be treated adequately without adverse outcome," she said. So long as an infected student seeks treatment, covers open cuts or lesions and avoids direct skin contact with other students, "it's OK to go to school."

"Certainly the publication of the article and the death of the student has heightened concern," she said. "Parents are more aware of MRSA now than they ever were before."



Avoiding MRSA
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

- Be sure to keep cuts and scrapes clean and bandaged.

- Avoid contact with other people's cuts, scrapes and bandages.

- Do not share personal items like bath towels.

Source: CDC A study published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimates that MRSA infections occurred in nearly 95,000 Americans in 2005. Based on those figures, an estimated 18,650 people died due to their MRSA infection in 2005. That death rate is higher than the HIV/AIDS death rate for that year, and the number of MRSA related deaths is much higher than previously thought.
 

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Heard about this this morning. Scary stuff.

I use hand sanitizer in every one of my classes. Thank God they have a bottle in each room.

I also use it at home all the time, even before this scare.
 

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Heard about this this morning. Scary stuff.

I use hand sanitizer in every one of my classes. Thank God they have a bottle in each room.

I also use it at home all the time, even before this scare.
Supposedly it isn't good to use hand sanitizer constantly either, because the high alcohol content is bad for skin (causing it to crack, which can actually make the possibility of infection worse). It's much better to wash your hands instead whenever possible.
 

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MRSA is nothing new, just go to any nursing home and you will find it anywhere. The scary one is VRSA or 'vancomycin resistant staph'. Vancomycin is the big gun of antibiotics, and if you get this one, there isn't much by way of medicine that will help you.

The USA has no one but ourselves to blame on this one. When every sniffle, earache, or tummy bug gets a prescription from the doc for antibiotics you can't help but support the development of resistant bacteria.

Its darwin writ large -- get antibiotics for everything, kill the weak bacterias... strong bacterias survive and multiply... traditional antibiotics no longer work...

This is also one of the scenario's of the pandemic catastrophe that everyone is talking about -- not as fast as a viral pandemic, but just as bad.

anyway -- wash your hands with soap and hot water often!
 

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Everyone has staph bacillus on them... Everyone has e-coli bacillus on them... Everyone has just about every kind of bacteria (beneficial or harmfull) on them at all times. The thing is that our bodies are incredible at protecting us from bacterial infections.

The hype going on about a "super bug" is the media reacting to something that has existed all over for years!! MRSA and staph in general are the #1 post operative infections from major US hospitals. Once you get it in your facility, there is no getting rid of it.

Now I am not denying that the death of this school kid isn't tragic. All I am saying is this is another knee jerk catastrophe in the making all perpetuated on us by the media (who as usual is only reporting 1/10th of the story, and not that well).

You want to learn more on MRSA or hosptial or nosocomial bacterias, speak with the infection control dept of ANY hospital.

Overview: HA-MRSA | CDC Infection Control in Healthcare
 

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The hype going on about a "super bug" is the media reacting to something that has existed all over for years!!

All I am saying is this is another knee jerk catastrophe in the making all perpetuated on us by the media (who as usual is only reporting 1/10th of the story, and not that well).
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That's what I figured, but if it gets more kids to wash their damn hands I'll go with it.:D
 

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Well I am actually really confused on the subject. Channel 3 News told me that it was very serious and we should be careful. Then they questioned a doctor who completely contriadicted what they said. He said that we should be fine, and that it was nothing more serious than (then gave some long latin name).

The same news channel said that someone had died from it.
 

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Is the media putting it a little bit scarier then it is?
Yes.

Do you have pimples? Guess what -- Staphylococcus Aureus. Staph is a very common bacteria. Everyone has staph bacteria in their system.

The problem exists when that bacteria becomes resistant to certain antibiotics -- in this case Methicillin. This makes 'cillin based antibiotics ineffective (Amoxicillin, penicillin, ampicillin etc.). Seeing as these are still some of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics perhaps you can see the problem.

Now, yes people have died from MRSA. Sadly people die of bacterial infections every day -- pneumonea bacillus for one, which causes pneumonia. Or how about salmonella, shigella, staphylococcus, Campylobacter jejuni, clostridium, E. coli, yersinia -- ever heard of any of those baddies? These cause diarrhea which kills more people then MRSA every day. ALL of these bacterias live on your skin right now!

Now I am not saying that MRSA isn't nasty, it is, but it is not the SUPERBUG that is going to take over the world or require the schools to decontaminate every surface you may touch. That is just ignorant and isn't very effective anyway.

The #1 prevention of most disease transmission is good handwashing. These schools would be better off putting in a good handwashing station in front of the cafeteria and gymnasium then they would be at "decontaminating" the school.

so yes.. the media, once again, are only reporting part of the story and inciting a false panic in order to make the story sound more exciting.
 
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