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Last updated 4:34PM ET
March 7, 2021
Shelby County Staff Infections Reported
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - A Shelby County High School student has been hospitalized with a drug resistant strain of staph infection and four others have been infected with the disease, officials said.

Cindy Warner, spokeswoman for Shelby County Schools, said the four have recovered from staphylococcus aureus, a common infection that causes small red lesions, and are back in school.

"One of the five is still battling it," Warner said. "She has the strain that has been causing a bit of a panic nationwide because it's resistant to certain types of antibiotics."

The female student, who is not being identified by school officials, has methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.

Dr. Jack Hataway said Alabama doesn't track the number of staph cases that occur since the disease is so common and health care workers aren't required to report cases to the health department.

"It's not usually a concern it's just right now the fact that we're seeing resistant forms in the community," he said Tuesday. "Remember, a lot of poeple normally carry this organism anyway without being sick. It takes some effort to try to decide how to make it reportable."

The student with MRSA is said to be responding well to new treatments and is expected to recover fully, Warner said.

The outbreak of staph infection at the Columbiana is just the latest of several in the area. Last month, four student-athletes at Pinson Valley High School in Jefferson County had staph infections and the school's gym was professionally disinfected as a result.

Two students at Simmons Middle School and two at Bumpus Middle School in Hoover also were diagnosed with staph infections in the past month, said Charlene Young, Hoover City Schools district school nurse.

Students at both schools took their personal items home to be washed, and the schools were disinfected, Young said, adding that there is nothing unusual about the number of infections reported this year in Hoover.

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