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Cathedral Catholic High Reopens After Staph Scare

Aired 4/2/12 on KPBS News.

A Carmel Valley high school closed its doors on Friday due to a possible outbreak of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus or MRSA.

Cathedral Catholic High School in Carmel Valley reopened today after Friday classes were canceled due to a possible outbreak of a drug resistant staph infection known as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus or MRSA.

Dr. Fadi Haddad, an infectious disease specialist at Sharp Grossmont Hospital, said the most important thing in halting the spread of MRSA is "to educate the students to do a proper hand washing and to shower after sports activities."

MRSA is spread through skin to skin contact and exposure to infected patients' open wounds. Haddad said students can take simple precautions to avoid infection.

"Do not share personal items such as towels, such as soap. These things can really be effective," he said.

Haddad said that in a school setting, MRSA usually manifests in skin infections such as boils and pimples and is not life-threatening to healthy people.

However, he said, the infection can be invasive in patients with immune-comprised conditions and can lead to a serious and life threatening disease.

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