The dangerous and occasionally deadly MRSA infection is laying siege to one high school sports team at a school on Long Island.
As reported by Newsday, three different students who are all members of one Rocky Point High School sports team have been diagnosed with MRSA since December. It is not known if any of the three students has had to be hospitalized, or if early diagnosis and an aggressive regimen of antibiotics has put them on the path toward a healthy life.
For his part, Rocky Point superintendent Michael Ring called for a calm response to the outbreak in a message to the district.
“I can understand any cause for concern,” Ring said. “Although MRSA sounds alarming, the infection is very common and can be contracted anywhere,” he said, citing data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which indicate that “about one in three people carry staph in their nose, usually without any illness” and “two in 100 people carry MRSA.”
While the team to which all three athletes belong has not been officially released, Newsday cited a source close to the situation in confirming that all victims were members of the Rocky Point wrestling team. In a bit of good news, the third victim has not been engaged in any team activities since before the holiday break, which would seem to minimize the threat of infection to other wrestlers; MRSA only spreads via skin-to-skin contact.
It’s unlikely that the Rocky Point wrestling team will resume its season as usual until after the MRSA outbreak is brought fully under control. In the meantime, Rocky Point officials insist they are following strict CDC cleaning recommendations and hope to halt the spread of the infection after this most recent outbreak.
“We are acting out of an abundance of caution in identifying any infections and making sure that they are addressed immediately,” Ring said in his statement to the district.