RICHARDTON — A possible outbreak of MRSA staph infection led to the postponement of the season-opening 9-man football game between Richardton-Taylor-Hebron and Hettinger-Scranton on Friday.
Richardton-Taylor High School Superintendent Brent Bautz said one student, a member of the football team, has a confi rmed case of MRSA — a bacterial skin infection — and that other students, including football players, complained of skin sores on Friday and were sent to health care facilities for treatment and testing.
However, their skin cultures won’t be available until Monday. Because of that, Bautz said it was only right to postpone the football game, which was scheduled for Friday night in Richardton.
“We want to be on the safe side,” Bautz said.
He said the school has been in contact with the North Dakota High School Activities Association, the Southwestern District Health Unit and the North Dakota Department of Health for advice on how to deal with the situation.
MRSA, or methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, is an infection caused by a strain of staph bacteria resistant to antibiotics, according to the Mayo Clinic’s website. It often begins as a painful skin boil and is spread by skin-to-skin contact. High school and collegiate wrestlers are among the groups most at risk of contracting the infection.
Bautz said the school is spraying surfaces with a special disinfectant meant to kill the MRSA bacteria.
“We sanitized everything,” Bautz said, “Football equipment, you name it.”
The game has not been rescheduled.