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MRSA Outbreak Strikes at High School

EMSL tests for MRSA with greater sensitivity and speed using PCR analysis


Thirteen students have tested positive for the antibiotic resistant infection, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) at Belen High School in New Mexico.
All thirteen of the students have received antibiotics and are expected to recover. A female cheerleader, the first one at Belen High to be diagnosed with MRSA, had the most severe case that required an abscess to be lanced. The others had only superficial rashes on their skin.
School officials believe that the bacteria spread on mats in the wrestling and weight room, which the cheerleaders also used. The school staff explained to ABC News that they disinfected the mats four times a day, but that apparently did not prevent the outbreak.
MRSA infections usually begin as small red bumps that resemble pimples, boils, or spider bites, but can quickly turn into deep, painful abscesses that require surgical draining, according to the Mayo Clinic. If the bacteria do not remain confined to the skin and spread to other parts of body, potentially deadly infections can occur in the bones, joints, surgical wounds, bloodstream, heart valves, and lungs.
“EMSL Analytical has received increasing requests to test for community-acquired MRSA found at gyms, schools, daycare facilities, and prisons—in addition to the hospitals and healthcare settings where it is usually found,” states Diane Miskowski, MPH, Business Development Manager at EMSL. “We analyze environmental MRSA samples by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), which allows us to provide precise, reproducible results within the same day or 24 hours.
To learn more about EMSL’s MRSA testing services, please visit, email, or call Diane Miskowski at (800) 220-3675 x 2528.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical, Inc. is a full service testing company providing quality lab services under the same private ownership since 1981. Including the corporate lab facility in Cinnaminson, NJ, EMSL Analytical operates over thirty laboratories nationwide in the US and Canada. We provide analytical services for environmental, indoor air quality (IAQ), industrial hygiene, forensics and materials science, consumer products, food safety, PCR, pharmaceutical, asbestos, lead, and radiological samples. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations, as well as state and federal regulating bodies. Please see our website for a complete listing of accreditations.



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