Fear of Staph Infection Outbreak Leads to Closing of 22 Virginia Schools

WASHINGTON – A staph infection that killed a 17-year-old high school student has prompted 22 schools in southern Virginia to close their campuses. Other campuses around the nation have also reported similar types of bacterial infections, although none have lead to any fatalities.

The Oct. 17 closings will allow Bedford County campuses to be disinfected so that the drug-resistant bacterial infection called Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureaus (MRSA) will not spread to other students. Two rural schools in Rappahannock County in northern Virginia were closed for a day last week due to similar concerns. Additionally, the Roanoke Times claims that at least 11 cases of MRSA have been reported in students in southwest Virginia over the last six months.

Since mid-September, in Maryland there have been greater than two dozen infections reported at four high schools. According to MSNBC, infections have also been reported in Waterloo, Ill., several districts in Ohio, Florida and North Carolina.

Generally, staph infections at schools spread in locker rooms when individuals share their towels, razors or athletic gear. Students are urged to always wash their hands and not share towels so that they do not contract or spread this and other diseases.

A fact sheet on MRSA can be found at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/Epidemiology/factsheets/Methicillin.htm.

If you appreciated this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!

Leading in Turbulent Times: Effective Campus Public Safety Leadership for the 21st Century

This new webcast will discuss how campus public safety leaders can effectively incorporate Clery Act, Title IX, customer service, “helicopter” parents, emergency notification, town-gown relationships, brand management, Greek Life, student recruitment, faculty, and more into their roles and develop the necessary skills to successfully lead their departments. Register today to attend this free webcast!

Get Our Newsletters
Campus Safety Conference promo