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GHS officials taking precautions against staph infections

Monday, August 23, 2010

GREENCASTLE -- A Greencastle High School football player is being treated for a staph infection, but the rumor that the infection is methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has not been confirmed, GHS Athletic Director Scott Knapp said.

School administrators were notified over the weekend the student-athlete was hospitalized for the infection. Although the exact nature and source of the infection are unknown, the school is taking precautions to prevent the infection from spreading among its students.

Superintendent Bob Green said the staff at GHS is already taking steps to prevent further infection.

"We've reinforced the cleaning that we do in the locker rooms and the shower areas, the weight lifting room -- all the areas that are common to the players," Green said.

Knapp also indicated that the coaching staff and athletes are taking steps to prevent further infections. The players have been told to take all personal items home to wash them. They are also strongly encouraged to pay close attention to personal hygiene in ways such as always showering and changing clothes after practice.

Knapp has drafted a letter to the parents of GHS athletes to be sent home. In part, it reads:

This past weekend Greencastle administrators were notified that one of our student-athletes was hospitalized with a staph infection. Greencastle High School is doing everything to prevent infections like this from spreading amongst its athletes. It is important that our athletes practice good personal hygiene in the following ways:

* Keep your hands clean by washing frequently with soap and water using an alcohol-based hand rub.

* Shower immediately after exercising and do not share bar soap or towels.

* Wash your uniforms and practice equipment after each use.

It is also important to take care of your skin and do not share items that come into contact with your skin. Avoid sharing personal items or ointments. The spreading of this infection can be easily acquired amongst athletes because of all the skin-to-skin contact athletics can bring.

The letter also points parents toward the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website (www.cdc.gov) for further advice and information.

Knapp said promoting hygiene and taking precautions are the keys.

"Hopefully there won't be a spreading of it," he said. "The key is just being cautious and safe. Whether it's one kid or 10, you take the same precautions."


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How is this possibly Breaking News????

I see people with confirmed MRSA everyday, and don't alert the media!

-- Posted by amkedu on Mon, Aug 23, 2010, at 4:31 PM

It would be interesting news to the schools scheduled to play Greencastle. There is precedent for cancelling a football game due to the threat of an infectious disease.

-- Posted by Balding Eagle on Mon, Aug 23, 2010, at 5:23 PM

I agree Balding Eagle. South Putnam was forced to forfeit to Tri-West 2 years ago.

-- Posted by yachtsman on Mon, Aug 23, 2010, at 11:10 PM

Why do these articles never talk about how important it is to sanitize the mouth guard and how to do it?

-- Posted by jmanzo on Tue, Aug 24, 2010, at 7:47 AM

Hey Balding Eagle, I would imagine we could find at least one athlete on every team that has some reason we wouldn't want to make contact with them! Anyway if I remember correctly, wasn't it the Tri West athletes that had MRSA and offered to play their freshmen but South decided not to risk it? Who got penalized?

-- Posted by Insane Due to Society on Tue, Aug 24, 2010, at 2:15 PM

Doesn't matter who got penalized. My point was that this is newsworthy to some.

-- Posted by Balding Eagle on Tue, Aug 24, 2010, at 10:24 PM


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