The health center advises students to be aware of Methidlin-Resistant Staphylococcus Areus (MRSA). MRSA is a bacterial infection that can be caught by indirect or direct contact, according to Carol Gelatt, nurse in the main health center.
“The bacterial infection can be acquired by direct contact such as skin to skin. It can be acquired by indirect contact such as contaminated athletic equipment or sharing personal items like towels or clothing,” Gelatt said.
There are several warning signs of being infected with MRSA. In its incipient stages, the infection looks like a spider bite, small pimple or boil. The area around the infected skin then becomes red.
If students show any symptoms of MRSA, they are advised to contact their doctors to be treated. Students are still allowed to attend school with MRSA as long as the infection is covered, and a health care provider does not advise otherwise.
According to Gelatt, ways to prevent getting this infection include washing hands, avoiding contact with others’ wounds, avoiding equipment that may be contaminated and not sharing personal items.
“Students need to make sure they follow gym guidelines, especially wiping down all the equipment they use before and after use,” said Gelatt.
According to senior Malcolm Brown, “I’ve never heard of MRSA until now. I tend to forget to wipe off equipment before I use them because I don’t really think about it. I’ll probably start to make sure I do wipe it off since I do a lot of weightlifting for football.”
For more information on MRSA, students can contact nurses at the health center, athletic trainers, or consult their health care providers.