Bad Bug: Cam High Confirms Outbreak of MRSA

An outbreak of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) occurred last week at Cam High. Two cases have been officially  disclosed to the coaches, but others are thought to have gone unreported.

MRSA is an infectious skin bacterium originating in the nose that is resistant to many antibiotics, making it difficult to treat. It is highly contagious and spread through direct contact with an infected wound or sharing of personal items, such as towels or razors, that have been exposed to the bacteria. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, athletes are especially at risk, particularly those who play sports involving, “crowding, skin-to-skin contact, and shared equipment or supplies.”

On Friday, October 12, every student participating in a fall sport was sent home with a letter warning their parents about the recent outbreak. “We tell the kids to take it seriously,” said Mr. Jack Willard, physical education teacher and head football coach at Cam High. “You play a game, and sometimes small cuts happen. It’s no one’s fault, but you have to treat all open wounds and make sure they’re covered.”

Mrs. Mary Perez, athletic director and Cam High’s cross country coach,  made certain to talk to both the students and their parents and establish awareness of the MRSA outbreak. Steps necessary to prevent MRSA were especially emphasized, as well as the importance of maintaining good hygiene.  “Locker rooms, by their very nature, are not clean,” said Willard. “But the students have been really good about everything and I don’t think this is something that will happen again.”

All Cam High athletes cleaned out their lockers after Friday night’s football game and the school is taking precautionary steps against any further outbreaks including discussions with the Ventura County Health Department. “The district sent a cleaning crew to spray down the infected area,”  said Mrs. Alexis Ortiz, Cam High’s assistant principal. “We just want to make sure it is safe for the kids.”