CU health officials encourage vigilance against staph infections
CU health officials recently announced that eight cases of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus have been diagnosed and treated since Aug. 17.
According to a fact sheet released by university officials, two of the students diagnosed with MRSA live in the dorms and the other six live off campus.
All students were treated at Wardenburg and are said to have recovered well from the illness.
Wardenburg typically treats between four and six cases of MRSA per year.
Dr. Pamela Talley of Wardenburg said MRSA is characterized by boils and skin infections. It is typically located on the skin and in the nose and is often difficult to treat because of its resistance to antibiotics.
Talley said that the MRSA cases treated at Wardenburg have not been serious.
“I got the email about it and read some of the highlights,” said freshman journalism major Gigi Cotton. “There are only eight people who have had it, so I’m not really worried about getting it.”
According to the Center for Disease Control, MRSA occurs most commonly among people in healthcare facilities and people who have weakened immune systems.
Community-associated MRSA, like that at CU, occurs in people who have not recently visited a healthcare facility.
The campus is undergoing sanitation measures to ensure that further illness is prevented.
All residence hall restrooms will be cleaned with a hospital-grade disinfectant, and preventive measures will be taken at the rec center. Some sports equipment will be withdrawn in order to reduce the possibility of spreading the illness.
“I’ve never thought about getting an illness from the rec center,” said freshman history major Samantha Davenport. “I might be a little more cautious when I’m there, but I won’t stop going.”
Custodians are also reviewing cleanliness procedures. This includes the disinfecting of doorknobs, phones and other high-traffic surface areas.
Letters have been sent to CU parents alerting them of the preventive measures the university is taking.
Talley says that students should refrain from sharing athletic equipment and other items like razors and towels. She also encourages students to keep living areas clean, especially common areas like kitchen tabletops.
Students are being encouraged to wash their hands often with warm soap and water.
Warnings and advisories have also been posted across campus.
Click here to view a fact sheet about the MRSA cases on campus.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Katherine Spencer at Katherine.firstname.lastname@example.org.