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Students 'Completely Safe' After Impetigo Break Out

Council Rock Superintendent said "students are completely safe" after two cases of Impetigo were confirmed at CR South late last week.

After a skin infection broke out among some Council Rock South athletes, students are "completely safe," according to the school district superintendent.

"Based on the information we have at this time, I believe our students are completely safe based on actions we’ve taken and the plans and precautions we have implemented over the past three days," Superintendent Mark Klein said in a press release.

On Thursday, Sept. 27, two students had confirmed cases of Impetigo—a contagious, superficial infection of the skin caused by staph and strep bacteria—which spurred the staff at CR South to begin screening athletes for signs of the infection. The screening showed that about 20 students had skin abrasions, which was suspicious enough for the school to cancel Friday night's football game against Pennsbury.

Of the students who were asked to contact their physicians, six have confirmed cases of Impetigo, according to Klein.

"All students who have been screened have been cleared by their physician to return to school and to compete in athletics," Klein said.

The school was cleaned and sanitized to help prevent further spread of the skin infection, Principal Albert R. Funk said in a letter sent on Friday. 

"The team locker room, weight room, and shower facilities have been completely sanitized and will receive extensive cleaning daily over the next several weeks," he said.

Impetigo is not serious and can be treated with oral and topical antibiotics, according to Klein, and is a relatively common infection in high school athletic programs.

"In fact, we have canceled wrestling matches or practices over the last two years at each high school because one or more wrestlers have had this skin infection," Klein said.

Klein also clarified that some news organizations falsely reported that the skin-infection was Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureues (MRSA), which is a more serious infection. He said that none of the students who were screened or excluded from practice last week were diagnosed with MRSA, however one student at the school has MRSA.

"We do have a single confirmed case of MRSA at South," Klein said. "However that student, who is a member of the football team, has not been in school for the past nine days. Based on the information we now have on this case, we don’t believe any of our current students are at risk for contacting MRSA by being in our buildings or facilities."

In order to prevent another Impetigo outbreak, Principal Funk said that players will receive regular skin checks for the duration of the season, and any player who has a suspicious mark on their skin will be made ineligible to play until cleared by a physician.

Friday's canceled football game has rescheduled for Monday, Oct. 1, at 7:30 p.m.

Read the letter from the superintendent, which includes a question and answer section, by clicking on the PDF file in the media box of this article.

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