• OVERVIEW OF INFORMATION ON STAPH INFECTIONS
    • Staphylococci are bacteria that can cause a variety of syndromes from skin infections and food poisoning, to more severe infections which can result in septicemia and death. Staphylococcus aureus (Staph) are commonly found in the population and usually survive on the skin and in the nose. It is estimated that over a quarter of the population currently carry the bacteria, and most will not suffer from staph-related illnesses or infections. Although usually treated with antibiotics, a strain of the infection has evolved that is resistant to commonly used penicillin-class antibiotics. These bacteria are known as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and can lead to serious illness and even death if left untreated. This disease was once more commonly associated with hospitals and nursing homes, but now has made its way to healthy and younger populations.

    PREVENTION

    • The best prevention scientifically proven is good hygiene. This includes the following practices:

      • FREQUENT hand washing using soap and warm water

      • Washing clothing and towels daily

      • Using clean, dry towels

      • Covering any cuts or abrasions with a bandage, irregardless of how small

      • Inform the coaches, athletic trainer, or school nurse of any “suspicious” insect or spider bite, boil, or sore, raised skin lesion

      • Do NOT share personal items, towels, or bar soaps

      • Do not come in contact with other people’s wounds

      • Don’t place hands and fingers near nose or groin w/o washing them afterwards

    ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT PROTOCOLS FOR DISINFECTION

    • In the attempt to prevent an outbreak of staph infections, as well as other communicable diseases, the following actions have been taking place in the athletic department:

      • Towels and work out clothes are laundered after each use

      • Treatment tables and whirlpools are cleaned and disinfected after each use

      • Students are reminded continuously of hygiene practices, including hand washing and the importance of taking proper care of open wounds

    ALSO, THE FOLLOWING PROTOCOLS HAVE BEEN IMPLEMENTED

    • At least once a week, the locker and weight rooms will be treated using a fogger that applies a disinfectant/fungicide/mildewstat/virucide/deodorizer. Coordination will occur between the coaching and custodial staffs as to scheduling cleaning and application times and days. This will include the high school and middle school.

    • Signs will be posted on doors as to when fumigation will occur, or has taken place to prevent accidental entry in freshly treated areas. The chemicals are not dangerous or life-threatening in any way, but can cause irritation to the eyes and nasal passages.

    • A written policy and procedure has been developed in the handling of staph infections. (However, this is how we have been handling any “suspect” cases all along).