Cases of highly contagious skin infection reported at middle school in Rock Hill

Cases of highly contagious skin infection reported at middle school in Rock Hill

ROCK HILL, S.C. — The highly contagious skin infection impetigo has been found on the campus of Sullivan Middle School in Rock Hill, and Principal Juan Roldan notified parents Wednesday and began disinfecting classrooms there.

Four cases were discovered, but school officials won’t say which grade or grades those students are in or how they think they came into contact with the disease.

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Marcellus Martin was home looking after his girlfriend's son Thursday. They kept him home from school because of concerns over the disease.

"We just want to refrain from any possibility of getting in contact with it," Martin said.

Impetigo is a skin infection that is caused by bacteria usually found in young children and often found in schools where there is close contact. It spreads by contact with broken skin, such as cuts or sores, and causes oozing sores that crust over with mild itching.

The school moved quickly once the cases were discovered and cleaned everything where the infected students were.

The school's principal sent out an email to parents that said in part, said: "We are following guidelines for infectious diseases from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


“We have begun enhanced disinfecting procedures using special equipment, which covers surfaces more effectively than conventional spray applications."

The school district is not required to report impetigo cases to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control as it would with a flu outbreak.

Disinfecting classrooms could help cut down on other illnesses for students and families at the school, too, Rock Hill Schools district spokesperson Mychal Frost said.

"A positive to this is that, with it being flu season, many areas of Sullivan Middle were able to be cleaned at a much deeper, much more thorough, enhanced level than they would have been otherwise," Frost said.

No other schools in the district have been affected by impetigo, officials said.

Roldan said attendance Thursday was normal with an average number of absences.

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