As a result of an outbreak of impetigo, Madison-Plains Local Schools will be closed Friday.
Four confirmed cases of the highly-contagious superficial skin infection were reported as of Thursday, according to Superintendent Tim Dettwiller.
“We didn’t know what we had,” Dettwiller said of the growing incidences of rashes on students’ skin.
By Thursday, about 60 children in the district with rashes had been sent home.
With school closed Friday, Dettwiller said Bio Clean Services, an industrial cleaning service, has been hired to enter all buildings and “fog everything.”
“Whatever’s in there, it’ll kill it,” Dettwiller said.
Symptoms of impetigo include blisters or sores on the face, neck and hands. It is particularly common in elementary-age students.
Treatment includes a topical antibiotic or an oral medication.
Dettwiller said the district is asking the parents of children who have developed rashes to be taken to a physician for diagnosis and subsequent treatment. To return to school, those children will need a doctor’s note stating they are no longer contagious.
Varsity football players and volleyball players ready for athletic action Friday and Saturday will be checked by the school nurse to be sure they’re clear of impetigo. Dettwiller said opposing teams have been informed of that precaution and agreed to play the contests as scheduled.
A freshman football game scheduled for Thursday had been cancelled.
The remedy to prevent the spread of impetigo is simple: thorough hand washing, said Susan Young, nursing director of the Madison County/London City Health District.
Dean Shipley can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617, on Facebook at Dean Shipley or via Twitter @DeanAShipley.