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Students At NJ High School Learning More About MRSA Than They Ever Imagined

Skin Infection Has Struck 11 Students At Steinert High School Since Last Month
Steinart High School (credit: CBS 2)

Steinart High School (credit: CBS 2)

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HAMILTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The outbreak of a very serious skin infection has prompted a New Jersey high school to take dramatic steps.

Steinert High School in Hamilton Township, near Trenton, is where students, teachers and staff are all getting a crash course in hardcore hygiene.

Dr. Seth Rosenbaum, an infectious diseases specialist, explained Thursday that MRSA can be contracted when “Someone shares a towel, someone shares sporting equipment [or] a piece of apparatus that’s been infected with the bacteria.”

MRSA, a nasty skin infection that can prove resistant to antibiotics, struck 11 students at the high school since last month.

“We had three that were hospitalized, two for a few days and one just overnight,” Jeff Plunkett, of the Hamilton Township Health Department told CBS 2’s Steve Langford.

The township’s Health Department said the school has tackled the threat head-on, especially in the locker rooms.

“They’ve cleaned it three or four times by their own staff, cleaned it once professionally and another service is coming in to do it again,” said Plunkett.

No one at the high school or even at the school district was available to talk about the MRSA outbreak.

“I mean I just think it’s a scary situation for anybody that it’s happening right now,” said parent Shannon Warn.

Still, some parents are expressing complete confidence in the school’s handling of the MRSA outbreak.

“If it was a serious issue, they would honestly move them to another school location or something along those lines,” said parent Trey Krajewski.

But another man’s son, a student, seemed to take it all about as seriously as cracks about staff infections.

“Everybody’s really taking it as a joke. Nobody’s really taking it seriously,” said student Bernard Krajewski.

But doctors stress MRSA is no laughing matter.

“Usually it warrants being home until the infection completely resolves so they don’t go to school and infect other people,” Dr. Rosenbaum said.

Symptoms of MRSA, include boils or a rash.