The following information is
being provided to assist you with recommended
guidelines for handling MRSA within schools.
(Excerpts have been taken directly from the Center
of Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for handling
MRSA in schools.)
Questions and Answers about Methicillin-Resistant
Staphylococcus aureus (MSRA) in the
How is MRSA transmitted?
is usually transmitted by direct skin-to-skin
contact or contact with shared items or
surfaces that have come into contact with someone
else’s infection (e.g., towels, used bandages).
What type of infections does MRSA cause?
the community most MRSA infections are skin
infections that may appear as pustules or boils
which often are red, swollen, painful, or have pus
or other drainage. These skin infections commonly
occur at sites of visible skin trauma, such
as cuts and abrasions, and areas of the body covered
by hair (e.g., back of neck, groin, buttock,
armpit, beard area of men). Almost all MRSA skin
infections can be effectively treated by drainage of
pus with or without antibiotics. More serious
infections, such as pneumonia, bloodstream
infections, or bone infections, are very rare in
healthy people who get MRSA skin infections.
What is the best way to prevent MRSA?
important to note that MRSA transmission can be
prevented by simple measures; such as hand washing
and covering infections.
Cover wounds. Keep draining wounds or those
that have pus covered with clean, dry bandages
until healed. Note: Bandage and tape can be
discarded with the regular trash.
If you observe a child with open draining wounds
or infections, refer to your school nurse or
have the parent consult their medical health
Clean hands frequently. Wash hands often with
soap and water or use an alcohol based hand
sanitizer. Especially, after changing a bandage
or touching an infected wound.
Do not share personal items. Avoid sharing
items such as towels, wash cloths, razors,
clothing or uniforms.
I suspect a MRSA infection, what should I do?
Consult your family physician or the school nurse.
The only conclusive way to confirm MRSA is for the
medical provider to culture the wound.
Does DCPS have to notify the entire
school of every MRSA infection?
It is not necessary to inform the entire school
about a single MRSA infection. When a MRSA case
does occur, it is recommended that the school notify
the Supervisor of Health Services Office, school
physician or the school nurse. This enables the
Health Services Office to provide the school with
additional information and to monitor the school
population for any potential “cluster” outbreak.
Will DCPS notify a parent or guardian
of a student with a known immunosuppressed
condition, in the same classroom?
It is recommended for the parent or guardian to
consult their health care provider for any special
Should students with MRSA skin infections be
excluded from attending school?
Unless directed by a physician, students with MRSA
infections should not be excluded from
Covering infections will greatly reduce the risks of
surfaces becoming contaminated with MRSA.
Exclusion from school should be reserved for those
with wound drainage (“pus”) that cannot be covered
and contained with a clean, dry bandage and for
those who cannot maintain good personal hygiene.
Students with active infections should be excluded
form activities where skin-to-skin contact is likely
to occur (e.g., sports) until their infections are
What type of cleaning or disinfecting occurd at the
school after a case of MRSA has been confirmed?
schools custodial service uses the approved cleaning
solvent to sanitize common surface areas and
classrooms that might have come in contact with the
affected area. It is not necessary to close school,
to “disinfect” when MRSA occurs. However, it is
important that the school not use cleaning solvent
directly around students.
What actions are taken if a student who rides
the bus has been confirmed with a case of MRSA?
bus driver is informed and staff wipe down the seats
and rails on the bus with a disinfectant.