Reports about an antibiotic-resistant strain of a common Staph infection, methicillin-resistant
staphylococcus infection (MRSA), are causing concern for school communities across North
America in recent weeks. The potentially life-threatening infection has Coppell ISD poised to
help better educate students, staffs, and parents about the bacteria and to become more vigilant than ever about campus cleanliness. According to Student Services Director Debra Hart, "So far, we've had no reports of MRSA in our schools and are working very diligently with our staff and the entire school community to be as proactive about education and treatment as possible and we are currently evaluating some innovative cleaning options. The good news is that Staph is not commonly spread through the air, but by direct physical contact, so washing your hands is really the number one defense."
Coppell ISD has issued the following procedures for preventing the spread of the Staph/MRSA bacteria:
- WASH YOUR HANDS frequently with soap and warm water and use alcohol-based antibacterial skin cleansers regularly. The spread of bacteria is ALMOST ALWAYS spread through DIRECT PHYSICAL CONTACT and not through the air. The spread may also occur through indirect contact by touching / sharing objects (e.g., towels, wash cloths, clothes, lip stick / make-up, razors, bar soap, uniforms, a workout area, or sports equipment) contaminated by the infected skin of a person with infectious bacteria such as methicillin resistant staphylococcus infection (MRSA).
- It is very important that any student/staff member with a suspicious lesion be evaluated by the school nurse. Above and beyond the issue of spreading the infection, severe health issues are a direct result of waiting too long to be evaluated or get treated.
- Wear foot coverings / flip flops in locker rooms and other commonly used areas.
- Keep ALL wounds / infections, particularly those that continue to produce pus or to drain, covered with clean, dry bandages. Pus from infected wounds can contain staph bacteria (MRSA) and may be harmful to others. For example, a recently reported outbreak among athletes in the North Texas area began when one team member had a boil and the infection was spread to other team members.
- Wash linens and clothes that become soiled with hot water and laundry detergent. Using a hot dryer, rather than air-drying linens and clothes, helps to kill the bacteria.
In Coppell ISD, parent(s) of CISD students, suspected of having a potential Staph or MRSA
infection, will be contacted and instructed to take their child to their health care provider for an
examination /evaluation. CISD staff will also follow these contact procedures and students/staff may not return to school/work until:
Their health care provider releases them to do so.
There is no longer any evidence of possible infection.
If the wound / rash is contagious, students/staff may return to school after using prescribed medicine for 24 hours. Even with medication, sores & wounds should be kept lightly covered until they have dried up completely. If a student/staff member refuses to keep the infected area covered, they should be referred to the building administrator in charge.
CISD students/staff identified or diagnosed with a draining wound or infectious rash are to report to the school nurse (administrator in charge) for a daily assessment of the wound and proper wound management. Coppell ISD students/staff must not participate
in any activity that involves physical contact
until the drainage has stopped and the wound / infection has healed (i.e. a student involved in football cannot tackle, but may run with the team). Students/staff may resume activities/work when the school nurse or administrator in charge has determined the wound has healed and the nurse issues a release to play/return to work. Visit the following website for more information and guidelines on preventing the spread of infectious bacteria: http://www.dallascounty.org/department/hhservices/MRSA.html