School officials said affected areas of the school were cleaned with two round of disinfectant after a night school student was found to have MRSA.

The latest report of MRSA has surfaced at Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School.   The antibiotic-resistant skin infection, MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) is becoming more common among members of the community, particularly high school athletes.   On Tuesday, a parent notified the school of a student's infection, according to nurse leader Marie Fahey.   The school then notified parents through a letter sent home with students that day.   The B-R student's reported MRSA infection was not found on an athlete, but a student who takes evening classes at Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School.   School district Superintendent George Guasconi said the two rooms where the student has access in the evening have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected twice.   "We realize that based on the information out there we may have responded with overkill, but we didn't want to leave any chance at all," he said.   The rest of the building is routinely disinfected with a "neutral disinfectant," that is dissolved in "pre-measured" containers, to avoid the risk of the cleaner becoming diluted or ineffective, Guasconi said.   It's common practice to have every bathroom disinfected every night, he said, and extra precautions are now being taken to disinfect all doorknobs and stairway handrails.   Cases of MRSA have recently been reported in high schools in Taunton, Wareham, Southeastern Regional in Easton, Silver Lake in Kingston, which had two cases, and in Abington, which was diagnosed as impetigo, an infection often caused by MRSA.   Dr. Fred Kern, a member of the Bridgewater-Raynham Regional School Committee who is also a pediatrician, said he has seen more cases in young children than in school athletes.   "It's not just a school phenomenon. It's a public health phenomenon. We have seen many cases in our medical practice," he said.   Kern added that he felt administration responded appropriately.   "We don't want the public to be overly concerned," he said, but noted that anyone with a skin infection in which boils begin to emerge should see a doctor.   Symptoms of MRSA are pimples, rashes, pus-filled boils, especially when warm, painful, red or swollen, according to information from the Department of Public Health.   Treatment of the infection, which rarely responds to antibiotics, includes keeping open wounds clean and covered.   "Prevention is really the key," said Donna Rheume, spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Good hygiene, especially hand washing, is the best prevention, she said.   Last year the Centers for Disease Control estimated 2,500 cases of MRSA were reported in Massachusetts, about 500 of which were fatal.   Of the fatalities, 90 percent occurred in elderly nursing-home patients, she said.   "It's extremely rare that young, healthy people die of community-acquired MRSA infections," she said.   Mary Lee Pomroy, a parent of a B-R student who also works at the school, continues to wash her daughter's soccer gear every time it's used.   "Just the word is scary," she said. "The fact that it's out there will make you nervous, naturally," she said, "I think they did a fine job of addressing it."   Guasconi said every school in the district has a health and safety committee whose members walk its building once a week to do a health and safety check.   He added that the recent reports of MRSA nationwide and throughout the region inspired him to compile information, which he was preparing to send out to parents before the students' MRSA infection was discovered.   Fahey said the student, who was not identified by gender or age, is among a small number of students in the alternative high school program's evening classes.   The student, who does not participate in school athletics, has returned to class after treatment and with a physician's clearance.   Students with any type of rash or lesions are being referred to their school nurses, Fahey said.   B-R students Kelly Meagher and Katie Ayers said Thursday that they weren't worried about it.   "It's not really an outbreak. No one was really talking about it," Meagher said.   Ayers said she makes a point to wash her hands, "but I don't need to carry around hand sanitizer or anything."   Freshman football player Justin Berry said he wasn't worried either.   "It's a nice clean school," he said.   Rebecca Starcevic can be reached at Enterprise staff writer Elaine Allegrini contributed to this report.