• Highly contagious staph infection reported at Union Elementary School

    By: Blaine Tolison

    Updated:

    WINGATE, N.C. - Parents are being warned about a case of a highly contagious staph infection at an elementary school in Union County.

    School officials said a student at Union Elementary in Wingate has MRSA, a type of bacteria that is resistant to several antibiotics.

    [CDC: MRSA FACT SHEET]

    Principal Jennifer Deaton sent out a letter Monday to parents of students who are in the same classrooms, ride the bus and are in after school sports programs with the infected student.

    The letter says, in part, that all areas the infected student came in contact with have been sanitized and the school is working with health officials to follow all protocol.

    “They’re always very proactive,” parent Laurie Thweet said. “They always have been.”

    Union County schools had a teacher workday Monday, so students were not in school when the message was sent out.

    "Well, I think it did help,” parent Robyn Eumana said about the teacher workday. “It gave them time to be able to inform everybody and take measures to sanitize the school.”

    [IN PHOTOS: Facts about MRSA]

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MRSA has been associated with pneumonia, skin infections, bloodstream infections and heart valve infections.

    It is easily spread through contact with infected people or things that are carrying the bacteria.

    Principal Deaton's letter to parents at Union County Elementary School:

    Hello, this is Principal Deaton at Union Elementary with an important message for parents. 

    Today, we had a confirmed case of the MRSA staph infection reported.

    A strict protocol is followed when there is a confirmed case in any school. Letters are sent home with all students who are in the same classrooms, ride the bus and are in after school sports programs with the student who has been confirmed with the infection. In addition to the letter being sent home, all areas the infected student came in contact with are cleaned and sanitized.

    I can assure you that we are working very closely with our school nurses and the Union County Health Department and are carefully following all established protocol. 

    And please remember, if there is a confirmed case in your child’s classroom, the school will notify you by letter stating this.

    Thank you for your continued support, and I hope you and your family have a good evening.

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