Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has been detected in another student at the Rocky Point, New York high school, according to school officials.

Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Michael Ring said in a message Friday:

Staphylococcus aureus Image/CDC
Staphylococcus aureus

‘The district has been informed that a fourth student has a confirmed case of MRSA. Although this latest case is in a student who participates in the same sport as the previous three cases, this case is not believed to be sports or school related as it resulted from an accident that occurred off of school property over a month ago. During this period of time, while the student was recovering, there was no participation in sports. Nonetheless, we have had this case reviewed by the Suffolk County Department of Health, which informed us that this is a classic MRSA case caused by an injury and wound, and is very common.

“I apologize for any concern these ongoing reports may be causing you. As a parent myself, I certainly relate to your worries about any potential health issues involving our students. These notifications are not meant to cause alarm, but rather to keep the community informed and to raise awareness in order to assist the district in identifying and reporting any other potential cases.

“The safety of our students and staff is paramount, and we will continue to follow this necessary protocol of communication. Toward that end, we will continue to inform you if we learn of any new confirmed cases of MRSA.

“As a reminder, MRSA is quite common and it is possible that more cases will be identified. I believe the revelation of these cases is in part due to our heightened collective awareness and our vigilance in identifying serious infections that should be evaluated and treated by a physician. I know that parents, staff and students are proactively looking and finding such cases, including cases that are not related to clusters but are common wounds that become infected with MRSA. Although most MRSA infections aren’t serious, the fact that some may become quite serious is why we will continue to act with diligence in addressing this matter.

“The district has reported all confirmed MRSA cases to the Department of Health. The Department of Health has indicated that any individuals with any question or concerns regarding this matter, or MRSA in general, are welcome to contact the department directly.

“Your continued understanding and support is greatly appreciated.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics called beta-lactams. These antibiotics include methicillin and other more common antibiotics such as oxacillin, penicillin, andamoxicillin.

MRSA in the community is widespread and therefore, anyone is at risk. Most people who get MRSA in the community get infections of the skin. Factors that have been associated with the spread of MRSA skin infections include: close skin-to-skin contact, openings in the skin such as cuts or abrasions, contaminated items and surfaces, crowded living conditions, and poor hygiene. People may be more at risk in locations where these factors are common, including: athletic facilities, dormitories, military barracks, correctional facilities, and daycare centers.