Keep staph infection away

The super bug is at it again.

This time the bug, called Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, or MRSA, has claimed the life of a high school student in North Carolina.

His name was Ashton Bonds. He was 17 and a senior at Staunton River High School.

His high school, and more than 21 others across the state, were shut down for cleaning following his death.

But Bonds is not the first.

More than 90,000 people develop a dangerous, drug-resistant form of staph each year, health experts claim.

And Bond won’t be the last.

Some health experts believe that deaths tied to staph infections may surpass those caused by AIDS.

A recent study by the federal Centers of Disease Control supported this claim.

According to the study, more than 18,650 people died of a staph-related infection in the United States in 2005. In that same year, 17,011 Americans died of AIDS.

That’s a difference of more than 1,500 lives.

So the super bug is on the run, spreading like wildfire. We’re not immune to it; Baker University is not immune to it. In fact, living in residence halls, greek houses, apartments or anywhere else where students are in close contact with one another, only increase the chances of contracting the infection.

But there are ways to prevent it.

Bond’s high school wasn’t clean.

Many of these infections spread in gyms and locker rooms where athletes share sports equipment. Others spread through close contact to open wounds or cuts.

Bonds played football.

The best way to avoid contracting a staph infection is by washing your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Keeping cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed can also prevent the super bug from spreading.

Bonds was the third student at Staunton River High School to contract the disease this year.

It took a death for school officials, students and parents to do something about it.

We shouldn’t make the same mistake.