Bacterial infection spreads across campus

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Six students have been diagnosed with staphylococcal, or staph, infections, the college announced Tuesday in a notice sent to students.”We normally see anywhere from 7 to 10 [diagnosed cases of staphylococcal] during a year,” Associate Dean for Student Services Denise Ward said. “Sometimes the cases cluster, so the institution thought it would be helpful to let people know so they would be aware of it.”

Staphylococcus is a type of bacteria that can live harmlessly on skin surfaces until the skin is punctured or broken for any reason, according to an informational handout available in Health Services.

The infection can spread from person to person among those who live close together in-group environments, but can be treated by a basic antibiotic ointment. Staph skin infections can show up in a variety of ways, from a dark reddish-purple swollen area that initially appears like a bug bite but does not itch to swollen, red, painful lumps in the skin.

Mike Abatemarco ’10 contracted staph this summer. “About a month-and-a-half ago, I got what appeared to be a bug bite,” he said. “I played with it a lot and it got infected and got green and it filled with pus.”

Abatemarco went to Winton Health Services.

“Nurse Bob treated me with ten days of antibiotics and now the staph is on retreat and I’m myself again,” he said.

Students who notice suspicious sores should contact Health Services.

ZAC FARBER
HATTIE STAHL