Update from California Department of Education
State Schools Chief Jack O'connell, State Epidemiologist Discuss Staph Prevention in Schools
Contact: Ioannis Kazanis
For Immediate Release
November 5, 2007
Sacramento - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell joined California Department of Public Health (CDPH) epidemiologist Dr. Gil Chavez to discuss the recent incidents of staph infections, especially methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), that are being reported in schools and communities nationwide. O'Connell and Chavez also spoke at length on preventative measures that parents and school officials can take to keep children safe.
"We feel it is important to provide information, to dispel fears, answer questions and most importantly, let students, parents and school personnel know that there are simple precautions they can take to prevent an outbreak of MRSA," O'Connell said.
"Because of the real potential for a MRSA outbreak in schools, especially among athletes, we must remain vigilant to ensure our students stay healthy," said Chavez. "The best way to keep the bacteria from spreading is simply by washing your hands, avoiding sharing towels or other personal items, and keeping any infected wounds or sores covered at all times."
O'Connell and Chavez also recommended that students, parents, teachers, and school staff take time to examine two documents, available in both English and Spanish, supplied by the CDPH in an effort to educate and alleviate fears generated by these staph reports. One answers many of the questions that are being asked about staph. The other is a brochure written for parents.