The Richmond Register

Religion and Education

April 8, 2009

Model notifies parents of MRSA infection

First learned of case Monday, informed most families Tuesday

Model Laboratory School sent a letter home Tuesday with each of its 685 students informing parents the school learned Monday afternoon about a seventh-grader who had been diagnosed with an antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus infection.

Such infections often are referred to by the acronym MRSA, for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

After learning about the case, the school immediately followed its MRSA incident protocol by notifying the Madison County Health Department and by sanitizing areas of the school that the student typically frequents, said Marc Whitt, spokesman for Eastern Kentucky University, which operates the school.

Seventh-grade students were sent home with a letter Monday, “because we wanted to first notify families of those who had children who might have come into contact with the student,” according to a letter from James Dantic, the school’s director.

After consulting with the Madison County Health Department, Dantic said he believed others students were not at increased risk of MRSA infection.

Several Model parents became alarmed Tuesday morning after learning from Lexington media reports that a MRSA case had been confirmed at their children’s school.

Dantic gave a statement to a Lexington newspaper Monday night, but Madison County media were not informed.

The father of one Model student who called the Richmond Register on Tuesday said he took his child home early Tuesday after school officials failed to reassure him.

“They wouldn’t tell me the grade of the student,” he said.

Dantic’s letter, released later in the day, identified the student as a seventh-grader.

One cause for parents’ alarm was the March 10 death of 17-year old Jessamine County student from a MRSA infection.

“MRSA is not a readily transmittable disease,” said Christie Green, Madison County Health Department spokesperson. “It requires skin-to-skin contact with an open wound or skin-to-surface contact with surfaces contaminated by an open wound.”

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Religion and Education
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