Seward Middle School is taking precautions against a staph infection found in two students, starting the week of Sept. 16.
“We were notified by a parent last week that their child had been diagnosed with a staph infection,” District Superintendent Dr. Josh Fields said.
The student was on the junior high football team, so the school sent a note to parents of football players, asking them to check their kids.
“Any question about a spot, our nurse would look at it, and then we’d send them to a doctor,” Fields said.
Later in the week, a second student was reported to have the infection.
Staph most often appears as boils, blisters or a rash on skin. It’s caused by staphylococcus bacteria, which is commonly found on the skin or in the nose of healthy people, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Once the bacteria enter the bloodstream, joints, bones, lungs or heart, the infection can become deadly.
The school disinfected its locker rooms and the high school weight room with a “disinfectant bomb.” Students were asked to take all their belongings home and wash them.
“There is a protocol we go through. The kids have to sit out for so many days. There’s an ointment to put on it, and they have to cover it,” Fields said. “We would notify (the other team), if necessary, if they played a team that night or the next day.”
Fields said the district has dealt with staph in the past, with one case last year where a Seward High student contracted the infection from someone on another team.
“If it’s dealt with quickly, it can be contained,” he said.