It's claiming more lives in the U.S. than the HIV virus, and now a case has been confirmed in the Western Slope. A Montrose High School student has been diagnosed with the MRSA Staph Infection, a more dangerous form of the disease that is resistant to anti-biotics.
Montrose County school officials were informed of the case Thursday morning, and immediately sent letters to parents explaining the situation and letting them know what steps the school was taking to make sure no one else gets infected.
Officials say Montrose High School was out for half the day Thursday and all day Friday for parent-teacher conferences, so no students were in the building once they learned of the incident.
They say they have been working closely with the Montrose County Health Department which tells them this case presents a very low threat to the school.
No information about the student or the student's condition is being released at this time.
The school custodial staff spent the weekend cleaning and disinfecting all of Montrose High School, and school officials say the school is safe to open Monday morning.
"I think we feel assured from what we are hearing from our medical experts that this is not anything to panic about," said Montrose and Olathe Schools spokesperson Linda Gann. "But it's certainly something to be aware of."
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the best way to protect yourself from the MRSA bug is to wash your hands with soap and water and to make sure you don't share personal items like towels or razors. The infection is treatable, and the CDC says if you think you may have MRSA, you should see your doctor immediately.
Earlier this year, a student in New York died as a result of MRSA.