There is a dangerous and potentially deadly disease that hit a daycare center in the Kansas City metro.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA is a dangerous bacteria that causes infections in different parts of the body. It causes skin infection and can spread easily. Parents at the KinderCare located on Shawnee Mission Parkway and Long Avenue in Shawnee said they were very surprised when they found out about the case casually through a teacher.
The staff found out Monday when one of the parents called the daycare to say their child was diagnosed with MRSA, a staph infection.
It's a difficult bacteria to treat because it's resistant to certain commonly used antibiotics.
"No matter how much we push on developing new drugs, new antibiotics, the staph are always one step ahead," said Dr. Lee Norman, the chief medical officer at the University of Kansas Hospital.
It's also easily transferable with simple skin-to-skin contact or by touching surfaces that have come into contact with someone's infection.
"Kids are always hugging, slobbering on each other, etc. and the way that MRSA is generally passed is skin-to-skin contact where the MRSA bacteria is on the skin," Norman said.
In an environment like a daycare where kids seem to touch everything, it creates added concern for some parents.
"Because it could really hurt you. You die from that. You could get seriously infected," said Shardan King, a mother of a child that attends KinderCare.
She also understands, though, that anyone can get the dangerous bacteria.
"They provide great care for my child and if my child was to get sick, I can bring home MRSA to them, so I really can't be mad about it because I work in healthcare where this goes around, but I clean really well at home and I know they clean really well here. I used to work in childcare. I know they do their best," Shardan King said.
The key, Norman said, is diagnosing and treating it early because it can get much worse than a simple rash.
"It can have a deep invasive infection. It can affect their heart valves. It can affect their lungs. It can have a liver abscess. We can see it in bones, so any deep tissues can be infected when it carries the MRSA by way of the blood," he said.
In a statement addressing MRSA at the center, KinderCare's parent company, Knowledge Universe, sent a statement saying:
"One of our discovery preschool parents called on Monday to let us know that her child had been diagnosed with MRSA. MRSA is a kind of staph infection. The child is receiving treatment for this illness and is staying home to recover."
"Ensuring the health and safety of every child in our center is of the utmost importance to us. In a letter to our discovery preschool families, we explained the symptoms of MRSA and that prevention is key to halting its spread. We've followed our standard classroom sanitization procedures in the discovery preschool classroom. In addition, we're taking every opportunity to make sure children properly wash their hands throughout the day."
Like the statement said, the boy with the case of MRSA is staying home and receiving treatment until he's fully recovered.
Most often, MRSA causes mild skin infections, but it can lead to more serious infections and problems if it gets in the bloodstream or lungs.
Norman said cleaning surfaces can be done with most common cleaning products that say they kill 99 percent of bacteria. Linens can be washed with normal laundry detergent.
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