バージニア州リッチモンド発、10月17日 ： 国中いたるところの学校で、MRSAを含むブドウ球菌感染の発生が報告されていたが、ＭＲＳＡ全身感染により1週間以上入院したしていたバージニア州ストーントン・リバー高校の高校生が月曜日に死亡した。
Staph Infections Reported at Schools Across the Country
Jeanna Duerscherl/Associated Press/Roanoke Times
Students stand outside Staunton River High School in Moneta, Va. where a high school student infected with an antibiotic-resistant staph infection has died prompting Bedford County to close all 21 of its schools for a thorough cleaning.
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: October 17, 2007
RICHMOND, Va., Oct. 17 ― A high school student hospitalized for more than a week with an antibiotic-resistant staph infection died on Monday, as schools across the country were reporting outbreaks of staph infections, including the antibiotic-resistant strain.
The student, Ashton Bonds, 17, was a senior at Staunton River High School in Moneta, Va., and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, was diagnosed in him, his mother said.
Officials shut down all 22 schools in Bedford County for cleaning today in an effort to keep the illness from spreading, after students at Staunton River organized a protest overnight Monday, using text messages and social networking sites. On Tuesday, the student organizers led the Bedford County schools superintendent, James Blevins, on a tour of the Staunton River school to show him the state of its sanitation, particularly in its locker rooms.
Mr. Blevins said at a news conference today that the high school would be cleaned today by a commercial cleaning company, and the county’s 21 other schools would be cleaned by their janitors.
Health and education officials have reported that staph infections, including the serious MRSA strain, have spread through schools nationwide in recent weeks.
MRSA is a strain of staph bacteria that does not respond to penicillin or related antibiotics, though it can be treated with other drugs. The infection can be spread by skin-to-skin contact or through sharing an item, like a towel or a piece of sports equipment, that has been used by an infected person, particularly one with an open wound.
The news of staff infections spreading through schools coincides with a report by doctors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which found that nearly 19,000 people had died in the United States in 2005 after an MRSA infection.
The study, which is being published today in The Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests that such infections may be twice as common as previously thought, according to its lead author, Dr. R. Monina Klevens.
If the mortality estimates are correct, the number of deaths associated with the MRSA germ would exceed those attributed to HIV-AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, emphysema or homicide each year.
In addition to the death of the Virginia high school student in Bedford County, The Roanoke Times reported today that at least 11 cases of MRSA infection have been reported in teenagers or children in southwest Virginia over the last six months.
In Newport News in the southeastern part of the state, a high school closed its weight room last Thursday after at least four students were infected; in at least one of the four cases, the staph germ is the MRSA strain, local school and health officials said. That patient, a football player, was hospitalized on Oct. 7 and released on Oct. 10.
No staph infection statistics are compiled by the Virginia Department of Education or the Virginia Health Department. But a spokesman for the state’s public school system, Charles Pyle, said the department would send information about prevention and treatment to all 132 school districts in Virginia for distribution to schools and parents.
Frequent and thorough washing of hands is one of the most important preventive measures, said Nicole Coffin, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control. Also, open wounds should be covered, and people should avoid sharing items like towels and razors.
Virginia is not the only state experiencing an outbreak of infections in schools. In neighboring Maryland, more than two dozen staph infections have been reported at four Anne Arundel County high schools since mid-September. School officials there said that crews have been scrubbing all 12 high schools in the county with a hospital-grade disinfectant, and that there was no cause for alarm.
In late September, five high school students in Waterloo, Ill., near St. Louis, were treated for apparent staph infections. The Waterloo school superintendent, James Helton, said it was the school district’s first problem with the bacterial infection, and that health officials had not identified its source. The high school was thoroughly cleaned after the students were treated.
In Ohio, staph infections have been reported recently in several school districts. The 800 students at Troy Christian Schools were sent home 90 minutes early on Oct. 9 as a precaution after at least one student contracted MRSA. The superintendent of schools, Gary Wilber, said classrooms, lockers, student belongings, school buses and other equipment were disinfected.
In September, a football player at Grove City High School near Columbus was hospitalized for six days with what started as a staph infection in his foot. The school’s locker room and training rooms were disinfected.
Health officials in North Carolina and Florida have also reported increases in staph infections.
“Most of what we hear about is athletic teams in school settings,” because there is often close contact among the players, said Zack Moore, epidemic intelligence service officer with the North Carolina Division of Public Heath.
Roger Sanderson, an epidemiologist with the Florida Department of Health in Tampa, agreed that sports teams seemed to be most at risk for staph problems.
“Nobody has reported any major outbreaks,” Mr. Sanderson said of the situation in Florida. “We do have schools that might have four or five cases, and we go in and give them basic infection control, like hand-washing, not sharing towels or razors, which football players do sometimes.”
The student who died in Virginia had gone to a hospital in Bedford on Oct. 4 after complaining of pain in his side, his mother said. He was sent home after doctors ruled out appendicitis, but was readmitted three days later and taken to a hospital in Roanoke.
Last week, doctors diagnosed an MRSA infection that had spread to his kidneys, liver, lungs and the muscles around his heart.
Early Thursday morning, the student had to be sedated and put on a ventilator. He was about to undergo surgery to drain fluid from his lungs when doctors detected a blood clot near his heart. His mother said the clot was inoperable.
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