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Staph (staphylococcus aureus), is a common bacterium found on the skin and in the noses of healthy individuals.

MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) is a specific type of staph which is resistant to antibiotics. Since 2002, outbreaks of a new form of MRSA have been reported among healthy individuals, particularly among athletes participating in contact sports. This type of infection is community associated, and is called CA-MRSA.

Early lesions often appear similar to spider bites. There may be soft tissue infection which presents as a boil, abscess or cellulitis. If parents suspects their child may have any of these symptoms, they should seek medical evaluation and notify the school if the child is positive for CA-MRSA. The child may attend school with the lesion covered.

MRSA is not a reportable issue for the Florida Department of Health unless there is a "cluster" outbreak. A cluster outbreak is if more than 3 students are found to be positive for CA-MRSA in a specific setting.

The very best prevention for CA-MRSA is good personal hygiene—especially hand washing—and not sharing personal items.

More information can be found at the CDC's website.