After reporting a case of staph, Johnson has taken several precautions to prevent the bacteria from spreading. Though the infamous Staphylococcus Auereus bacteria, located in the nose, mouth, and feet, is commonly carried by healthy people, it can pose major health problems if it enters the bloodstream.
“It’s a bacteria that lives on everybody’s skin, and you can pick it up anywhere,” Nurse Karen East said.
Staph has various means of getting into the body; when it does, it becomes an issue of concern. Serious infections of internal organs, bones, and the nervous system can result, but more commonly, minor symptoms include pimples, boils, and swelling.
“It can be brought by rashes, ingrown hairs, and insect bites,” Athletic Trainer Doc Moore said.
The bacteria can also be spread through contact with open wounds and infected day-to-day items.
“Contact with other things from people, like towels, and unclean benches [can spread staph bacteria],” Moore said.
Many of these items are found in locker rooms. Therefore, athletes are especially fearful of contracting an infection.
“It can end your sports season,” sophomore Andrew Johnson said.
When a case is reported, students are immediately sent home and officials are notified.
“If a student is infected, we send them home so they can recieve further medical treatment,” East said. “When I am aware, I report it to Health Services, and then a letter is sent out to let parents know.”
Different treatment options are available to stop the spread of an infection.
“First you must visit a doctor to have some antibiotics,” East said. “Occasionally if it is more serious, a doctor may have to make an incision [to the infected area].”
The custodial staff is doing their best to contain any contamination.
“We clean all desks, chairs, tables, and door handles,” Custodian Margret Rodriguez said. “Whatever needs to be clean and sterile.”
The best way to protect yourself is to follow good hygiene and to be aware of the causes of staph.
“Wash your hands, have clean clothes, do not share towels, or deodorant, and having a good cleanliness [can prevent it],” Moore said. “If you’re diagnosed, follow the doctor’s orders, because it is contagious.”