Port Gibson school closing early over skin infection|[04/11/08]

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 11, 2008

An outbreak of a skin infection common in infants and children was expected to dismiss children early today from A.W. Watson Elementary in Port Gibson.

Broadcast reports said seven cases of a disease state health officials identified as impetigo were reported to parents at a PTA meeting this week.

Impetigo is a skin infection caused when bacteria enters the skin through insect bites or cuts. It begins as red sores that can evolve into yellowish-brown crust resembling dried honey or brown sugar.

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Dr. Mary Armstrong of the Mississippi Department of Health said the infection is not the type resistant to antibiotics and is not necessary for reporting to state health officials.

“Kids get it every summer all the time,” Armstrong said. “The important thing is that kids wash their hands.”

Principal Curtis Ross said students were to be dismissed at 12:30 p.m. and buses would be available to drive normal routes. Also, Ross said, today’s early dismissal was planned anyway because it is one of two “60 percent” days set aside for staff development.

Claiborne County Schools Superintendent Dr. Anna Kilcrease didn’t return calls seeking comment.