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Lindenhurst schools staffer has MRSA

Lindenhurst Middle School is part of the Lindenhurst

Lindenhurst Middle School is part of the Lindenhurst Union Free School District and serves grades 6-8. (June 7, 2011) Credit: Alexi Knock

A staff member at Lindenhurst Middle School has been diagnosed with MRSA and "is out receiving treatment," the school principal said in a letter to parents.

Skin infections caused by the MRSA bacteria are mostly spread "by close skin-to-skin contact, usually through contaminated hands," the letter from principal Frank D. Naccarato Jr. said. Most superficial skin infections heal, the letter said, but "in rare cases, particularly in a person who has other medical conditions, more serious infection can occur."

The staff member "has been out taking care of the infection and will not return" until cleared by the doctor, the letter said. "The infection occurred in an area completely covered by clothing, thus limiting the ability for it to be transferred."

Naccarato also said that the school "will continue to clean the areas that this staff member had access to."

MRSA, or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is not uncommon among athletes and the district has had cases involving wrestlers, said Richard Nathan, schools superintendent, in a phone interview.

According to a spokeswoman, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services has not been notified of any clusters of MRSA cases in the county. "Single cases are not reportable, but we are available to assist those who seek guidance," she said in a statement.

In January, a Syosset High School student and a Lynbrook High School wrestler were diagnosed with MRSA.

Last year, Hauppauge High School wrestler Nick Mauriello Jr. was unable to compete in that year's state championships after he contracted MRSA, as well as Lemierre's syndrome, a rare inflammation of the blood vessels that doctors said was an offshoot of MRSA. The infection can be transferred in contact sports such as wrestling. Mauriello spent 19 days in Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital.

Mauriello recovered, went through an arduous rehabilitation process to regain weight, strength and stamina and returned to wrestling.

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