FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Officials in South Florida spent the weekend disinfecting gyms and locker rooms after learning multiple cases of wrestlers who possibly have the bacterial infection MRSA.
Four or five students are suspected of having the infection, Broward Schools spokeswoman Kathy Koch told the South Florida SunSentinel.
She said infected students may have been in contact with other students during wrestling matches. Parents at Cooper City High, Miramar High, Monarch High, Nova High, J.P. Taravella High, West Broward High and Western High received notices over the weekend.
As a precaution the district cleaned athletic facilities at all 33 high schools over the weekend.
“The district immediately began implementing measures to clean equipment, weight rooms, locker rooms including shower areas, gymnasiums and wrestling areas at all high schools,” Koch said.
In addition, all basketball games and wrestling matches that were scheduled for last Friday were canceled. Koch said the cancellations were a joint decision of the district and the county’s health department.
District protocol is for “anyone exhibiting the signs or symptoms, or has been diagnosed with MRSA, must have a note from their health care provider to return to work/school,” according to a letter sent to parents this weekend by the seven most affected schools.
Wrestling parents at the schools have been asked to consult with health care providers to confirm there are no signs of a staph infection, she said.
Koch didn’t have details on when the students may have contracted the infection.
MRSA is a type of bacterial infection found on the skin. Although it’s resistant to many antibiotics, it is treatable, the district letter tells parents. It’s not contracted through the air and is usually transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact or contact with shared items or surfaces, such as towels, bandages and razors.
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