Clean Locker Rooms? Should Schools be Required to Report MRSA Outbreaks to Parents

Want to why it’s important to have things such as a clean locker room? Well, it happened again: a case of MRSA was detected inside a school and officials didn’t think it was necessary to alert the parents since they believed it was an isolated case. This particular strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) can spur nasty and painful boils on the skin and can very quickly turn into the devastating flesh eating bacteria or even lead to very serious and sometimes fatal blood infections.

The real issue is that presently, schools are NOT required to report any cases of MRSA or any other infectious or dangerous disease to parents or the public. For many parents, this is a huge concern. It begs the questions, at what point does it become necessary to report MRSA and by the time it is reported, is it already at a crisis point? One has to wonder if when dealing with MRSA, if one case is enough to warrant parental or public notice? At this point, it isn’t even clear if the case is a student, teacher or faculty member or whether it was thought to be contracted in a presumably clean locker room, bathroom or cafeteria.

Understandably, the parents of students want answers. They want to know why no one is being told that there is a potentially life threatening infection detected where their children are supposed to feel the safest. They feel helpless, confused and deeply concerned. They have every right to be. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that there were roughly 15,000 cases of MRSA reported in NYC in 2011. Out of these, 1,571 were children. To put this into perspective, the number of NYC’s reported MRSA cases in children in 2007 was just 600. That means that the number of cases in kids has more than doubled in just four years. The question here is simply why are they growing instead of shrinking?

Why are we more at risk now when we clearly know more about MRSA than ever before? One possibility is that schools are simply not being kept clean enough. We read horror stories about infections like MRSA spreading in what we thought to be clean locker rooms or on dirty football fields or soiled wrestling mats, but what about in places we can’t see? Close contact is certainly the primary catalyst for contracting these types of infections, and at schools (especially elementary or secondary type schools), this type of contact is common. Just think of how many times you held hands for a game of Red Rover in school.

With over 80,000 invasive infections and more than 11,000 related deaths in 2011 alone, it certainly seems that one case should warrant parental notification to help alleviate it before reaching a crisis level. At the very least, it should save the borage of angry parent backlash once it’s too late.

As always, prevention is the best medicine and keeping things clean and healthy with Clear Gear Disinfectant Sports Spray puts you off to a good start.