Tuesday October 30, 2007
Typically around this time of year, parents spend their Tuesday nights rushing kids to soccer or football practice. But in Madison County, fears of a public health crisis have those parents getting schooled.
"How can I be aware of whether or not my child has MRSA and how can I keep my child from getting this infection?"
Those are questions Dr. David Compton with the Virginia Department of Health says he most often gets from parents.
"[W]e're trying to reinforce over and over again what the parents can do, and what we would like for them to do, from the standpoint of prevention."
Compton told the handful of parents who showed up Tuesday night at Madison County High School the keys to prevention are to teach kids to constantly wash their hands, as well as to make sure any cuts or scrapes are completely covered by band-aids.
Compton knows all this, not just because he's a public health specialist, but because both of his kids contracted MRSA.
The leadership in Madison County is working to make sure none of their students have the same problem.
"Any day, we're looking to make sure that our children under our care are safe," says Superintendent Brenda Tanner.
That's why these types of forums are being held throughout the county, so that folks can get educated about MRSA and to make sure it doesn't spread.
"We have a relatively new health department in Madison County," Dr. Compton says. "What they're trying to do is work hand-in-glove with us to make sure they've done everything possible to protect the kids and everything possible to identify this stuff so parents can work with the kids."