A student at Merritt Island High School has been diagnosed with MRSA, a bacterial infection that can be very difficult to treat, Brevard County school officials confirmed Thursday.

As a precaution, the school district has sent its environmental services department to the high school.

A spokeswoman for Brevard Public Schools said reports from parents that the infection affects Merritt Island's football team and equipment were not substantiated and could not immediately be confirmed.

However, the district instructed the school's custodial staff to clean and sanitize the locker rooms as an extra safety measure.

The spokeswoman added the football equipment in question was reconditioned and sanitized prior to being distributed.

The school district said it is notifying parents on the steps it's taking and additions measures families can take to prevent the spread of contagious diseases like MRSA.

Signs & symptoms

MRSA skin infections can occur anywhere on the body. Some common sites are the legs, buttocks, groin, and back of the neck. MRSA usually appear as a bump or infected area that is red, swollen, painful, warm to the touch, or full of pus.

If you or someone in your family experiences these signs and symptoms, cover the area with a bandage and contact your health care professional. It is especially important to contact your health care professional if the signs and symptoms are accompanied by a fever.


Treatment for MRSA skin infections may include having a health care professional drain the infection and, in some cases, prescribe an antibiotic.

Do not attempt to drain the infection yourself. Doing so could worsen or spread it to others.

If you are given an antibiotic, be sure to take all of the doses — even if the infection is getting better — unless your health care professional tells you to stop taking it.

Do not share antibiotics with other people or save them to use later.

If you're infected

Cover your infection

  • Pus from an infected area can contain regular staph or MRSA, so keeping it covered will help prevent spreading the infection to others.
  • Follow your health care professional's instructions about proper care of the infection.
  • Be sure to discard bandages in the trash.

Clean your hands

  • You and your family should clean your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub, especially after changing the bandage or touching the infected area.

Do not share personal items

  • Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, washcloths, razors, or clothing that may have had contact with the infected area or bandage.
  • Wash soiled sheets, towels, and clothes with water and laundry detergent.
  • Use a clothes dryer to dry clothes completely.

Source: CDC - MRSA