Dunlap football player contracts case of MRSA

By WEEK Producer

August 29, 2013 Updated Aug 29, 2013 at 7:29 PM CDT

DUNLAP, Ill. -- Dunlap superintendent Dr. Jay Marino says letters, e-mails and texts were sent Monday informing families that a member of the Dunlap High School football team had contracted MRSA.

It's not clear where it happened. Marino says it may not have happened at the school. Still, the district responded by taking several precautions.

"Dissinfecting all of the athletic equipment, jerseys, pads, that kind of thing. We did what's called bombing, which is basically a fogger that disinfects the locker room," explained Marino.

MRSA is a type of staph infection that's resistant to antibiotics. That makes it difficult to treat.

"Its an acronym for methicillin staphlyococcus aureaus," said Diana Scott of the Peoria City/County Health Department. "Its quite often common in many people in their noses, on their skin and it can be transferred to other people by skin to skin contact."

Which makes athletes who play contact sports especially susceptible.

"What you're looking for is something that looks like a skin rash," said Marino. "The reason we wanted to communicate with the families is skin rashes aren't uncommon in students or children. We wanted parents to know that since we had a confirmed case of MRSA with a student they would be on the lookout."

The school district is advising parents and students to seek medical attention as soon as possible if they, or a family member, exhibit signs or symptoms of MRSA.