Concerned Parents Seek Answers

ORLANDO, Fla. - Three new cases of MRSA have been reported, bringing the total throughout central Florida into the double digits.

Many parents are very concerned; one parent said that they have considered removing their child from school and home-schooling them. "I don't want to say it's an epidemic, but there's a breakout in Central Florida," said concerned parent Shannon Elkins.

The staph infection has spread throughout Orange County schools with the total now at five. Orange County schools have been taking swift actions to prevent the infection.

Superintendent Ronald Blocker contacted parents with this recorded message: "Hello parents, this is Orange County Schools Superintendent Ron Blocker. Some of you may have heard recent news accounts of Central Florida children contracting MRSA, a skin infection caused by the common bacteria known as staph," said Blocker.

One case is at Dover Shores elementary.

Principal Dr. Randall Hart sent a letter home to reassure parents. "We should be concerned about it, but we are doing everything we can to make sure that it's controlled here," said the Hart in the letter.

Two other cases are at Memorial Middle school and Pine Hills Elementary.

Elkins said she does not have much faith in the schools' efforts in preventing MRSA so she is doing what she can to protect her child. "We're doing our part to make sure that he's taking care of as far as hand washing, and not touching other kids with open wounds," said Elkins.

So far there has been one case in Marion Co., one case in Volusia Co., five cases in Orange Co., two cases in Osceola Co. and four cases in Brevard Co.

The best way to prevent MRSA is to keep good hygiene, wash hands frequently and clean cuts and wounds.
Dr. Jaime Carrizosa specializes in infectious diseases.

He said the 13 cases of MRSA that have hit Central Florida are not a surprise. Carrizosa said things could get worse if it's not managed properly, and the number of MRSA cases keeps increasing.