Staph infection surfaces at Augusta State University

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News 12 6 o'clock, October 26, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---The serious staph infection MRSA has hit close to home at Augusta State University. The school is now speaking out.

"It's kinda scary," said student Trevor Bochardt.

The school sent out emails yesterday notifying students that one of its students has MRSA, the more serious form of staph infection.

That student reportedly waited a week and a half before coming forward.

"I don't think that person should come back to school until it is fully gone, or maybe they should just do online classes for a little while," Bochardt said.

Charlotte Price is chair of the nursing department at ASU. She told News 12, "I wouldn't say if you have MRSA you must do online learning any more than someone who has a cold or an allergy."

Price says the staff cleaned surfaces in the classrooms and other areas that may have been contaminated.

Student Samantha Carr, like Trevor, wants more. "You think you're like safe on a certain campus or somewhere you go, and when you find out you're not it's pretty shocking."

On any given day about 8 or 9 thousand students walk the campus. Campus officials tell News 12 this is an isolated incident and that there's no cause for concern.

"MRSA is something that we don't sneeze at, but it's something that should not generate panic either," Price said.

Students like Jessica Muhammad say they can't help but feel scared. She has class with the student. "He wasn't in class today. Thank God," Jessica said.

"At some point you have to be realistic," said Kathy Schoffe, director of public relations for ASU. "You take the precautions to make yourself healthy and to make those around you healthy."

"I just say he needs to stay out until he is well," Jessica said.

As for the school nurse, she says, "Wash your hands and cover your wounds and use good sense."

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