Staph infections in school locker rooms are concerning, but preventable

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ABILENE, Texas (KRBC) – A Staph outbreak can be found in a locker room but can be easily treated.
 
Dr. Stephen Jackson is a physician who says there are different types of the infection  that can vary in severity.”
 
“[There is] the one that typically causes cellulitis and it’s sensitive to multiple antibiotics and is usually very easy to fix. It occurs in settings where there’s scrapes or cuts which could happen in an athletic department,” according to Jackson. “[There is} a drug resistant form of Staph called  MERSA or methacillin-resistant Staph. It is very invasive. It does not require a cut or scrape”
 
And at it worst, the illness can be lethal, said Jackson.
 
“Cellulitis can turn into sepsis which is the infection spilling over into the blood stream,”said Jackson. 
 
Abilene ISD is constantly sterilizing its athletic facilities to prevent any outbreaks said Roy Dudgeon, supervisor of custodial services.
 
“We disinfect daily especially if we know if it’s in a certain locker room,” said Dudgeon. “We will make sure that we will do that locker room daily. It will take care of any kind of germ or virus that can live outside the body. That includes influenza, hepatitis it’ll include those. If you have a skin disease of some type, athlete’s foot those kinds of things, it will kill off those viruses as well.”
 
The little disinfecting machine works its magic throughout the school year.
 
“We also use this machine during the flu season,” Dudgeon said. “So when the flu season starts, it backs off a little bit. But, we’ll run everyday in the field house, in the locker rooms any place a student is changing clothes.”
 
Preventative steps can even be taken by athletes themselves, said Jackson. 

“The main thing is to keep the skin clean, and that means frequent showering or bathing,” Jackson said.

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