- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Another case of MRSA has been reported in the Lancaster County School District.
The latest case reported is at South Middle School, bringing the total of known cases in the school district to eight.
School District spokesman David Knight confirmed the case Monday afternoon. He wouldn't say whether it involved a student or member of staff. He said providing additional information about whether the case is a student or staffer could lead others to deduce the identity of the person.
"DHEC (the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control) has told us to maintain the confidentiality of those who get MRSA," Knight said.
He said school officials were notified Monday about the new case. The person was at the school through Monday but is expected to be away from school for some time, as he or she is being treated with antibiotics.
Special cleaning measures were undertaken at South Middle, especially where the person spent most of his or her time, Knight said. Cautionary letters to students' parents were sent home about the new case Tuesday.
There are two types of MRSA, (pronounced "mersa"), or methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus.
Non-invasive forms appear as skin infections. They may appear as pustules or boils, which are often red, swollen and painful or have pus or other drainage. They can be effectively treated by draining the pus with or without antibiotics, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Invasive MRSA infections- such as pneumonia, bloodstream infections or bone infections -can cause death, but they are rare. The vast majority of MRSA cases are non-invasive forms.
MRSA has received special attention in recent months after three children in other states died from invasive MRSA within the same week in October.
There has been a surge in reported non-invasive MRSA cases from school districts across the country since the three deaths. Doctors recently have noted the existence of a new strain of MRSA that is "community-based," differing from the traditional strain that was mainly isolated to hospitals for many years.
The new strain is supposed to be particularly virulent and is contracted from environmental sources, such as contaminated surfaces.
Knight believes the surge in reported cases can be attributed to more people getting unusual red lesions on their skin checked by doctors and finding they have MRSA.
Contact Johnathan Ryan
at 416-8416 or
Press play on video player
New Technology Reduces Exposure to MRSA