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Babylon HS Student-Athlete Contracts MRSA

Infected student-athlete not seriously ill, but high school taking all measure to eliminate MRSA from building.

A Babylon High School student-athlete has contracted MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), according to a letter sent to district parents on Friday.

The letter, authored by Superintent Richard Rozakis, said the student-athlete was diagnosed with MRSA but was not seriously ill, was being treated at home with antibiotics and is doing well.

The name, grade and team association of the student were not disclosed due to the student technically being a minor.

"It is not possible to determine exactly where the staph infection was contracted," noted Rozakis in the letter to parents. "Basic precautionary measures... should be taken to safeguard the health of our students and school community."

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus "is a 'staph' germ that does not get better with the first-line antibiotics that usually cure staph infections," according to the U.S National Library of Medicine. Staph infections can cause chest pains, wounds that do not heal, shortness of breath or general ill feelings.

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Rozakis said basic good personal hygiene would help stop the spread, including frequent hand washing. The school district, meanwhile, has taken its actions against the spread of the bacteria by undertaking a thorough cleaning of the locker rooms, gyms and rest rooms using disinfectants that eliminate MRSA.

Rozakis also suggested all uniforms and athletic clothing be taken home and washed as soon as possible.

"The District is also working closely with our school physician to incorportate the recommended measure to prevent the spread of MRSA," Rozakis noted in the letter. "We will maximize our ability to contain the spread of MRSA in our school community."

The letter suggested parents with concerns should contact Athletic Director Michael DeJoseph or the school nurse's office.

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