Staph Infections Brooklyn
Gary He  /  AP
Students enter Intermediate School 211 in the Brooklyn borough of New York on Friday, Oct. 26, 2007. The city Health Department said Thursday that an antibiotic-resistant staph infection likely killed Omar Rivera, a seventh grader at the school. (AP Photo/Gary He)
updated 10/28/2007 1:59:46 PM ET 2007-10-28T17:59:46

Public schools in Mount Vernon are being disinfected after a worker and a student showed signs of an antibiotic-resistant staph infection, authorities said.

Schools Superintendent W. L. Tony Sawyer said a high school employee and a third-grade student are being tested for MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The bacterial strain can be treated with other antibiotics, but without treatment it can be deadly.

Sawyer said the two will stay home from the schools — Edward Williams Elementary and Nelson Mandela Community High — until the test results are known.

Sawyer said that if either tests positive, the school system will redouble its efforts to disinfect. But medical authorities have said the schools will not need to close, he said.

The bacteria was blamed for the death of a 17-year-old Virginia high school senior and a 12-year-old New York City middle school student this month.

At least seven students on New York's Long Island were recently diagnosed with MRSA, as were 10 members of an athletic team at Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y. However, a government report has estimated it may sicken more than 90,000 Americans each year.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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