Archbold, OH

Archbold Schools Retract Note About Staph Infection

The Archbold Area School district sent a note home to parents about potential staph infections following the Archbold-Patrick Henry football game, then sent home a retraction.

Staph infections are a type of bacterial infection that can cause a skin infection, said Mike Oricko, Fulton County Health Commissioner.

“For most people, most of the time, they don’t become seriously ill. It can be treated.

“But (a staph infection) can enter the blood stream and cause much more serious problems,” Oricko said.

Staph is spread by skin-toskin contact, either between an infected person and another, or a person who has come in contact with an infected person, who in turn comes in contact with a third.

If a person with an infection has an open wound or sore and comes in contact with another who has some damage to the skin, the second person can become infected, Oricko said.


Rumors were rampant around the community last week involving staph and the Patrick Henry team.

Stories varied, but stated one or more members of the PH team had staph infection(s), and that the Tuesday, Oct. 16, death of Rick Schwiebert, PH girls basketball coach, was connected with a staph infection.

Susan Miko, Patrick Henry School District superintendent, said there was one Patrick Henry football player who did have a staph infection over the summer.

“He was put on antibiotics by his doctor, and he was cleared to play, but we kept him out longer, beyond what the doctor asked for,” she said.

There was a report that the player was still battling the infection as late as PH’s homecoming on Sept. 21. Miko said she did not know the exact timeline of the youth’s illness.

Miko said Schwiebert’s family announced that his death was the result of endocarditis, an inflammation of the inner lining of the heart.


Deskins said Tina Stanley, Archbold High School athletic trainer, heard the rumors about PH football players and staph.

Reacting to the information she was given, she sent a letter home to parents of football and volleyball players informing them of possible concerns regarding potential staph infections, following the football game against PH on Friday, Oct. 12.

The letter, Deskins said, gave parents information about preventing the transmission of staph.

The next day, Deskins said Archbold Area School District officials determined that the concerns were unfounded, and a second note was sent home to parents.

Deskins said Stanley did not alert her superiors about her intentions to notify parents, but said she will not be disciplined by the district.

Her action was prompted by her concern for the health and safety of Archbold students, he said.


Even before staph became the subject of national media interest, the Archbold and Pettisville School districts have taken preventative measures.

“We want parents to know the district has always taken extensive precautions in cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. Situations of this nature help to remind us of the importance of that,” Deskins said.

“We use a disinfectant on (restroom) handles, stalls, doors, and sinks. Floors are sanitized,” he said.

Also, exercise equipment is wiped clean.

He said Archbold schools are among the cleanest and best-maintained schools in the state.

“The custodial staff does an outstanding job. They go above and beyond what is expected,” he said.

Steve Switzer, superintendent of the Pettisville Local School District, said all of the district’s locker rooms are mopped daily with a disinfectant anti-bacterial solution.

“All the sinks are cleaned daily, all the stools, all the floors are done daily,” he said.

Staph infections have made national news after the federal government’s Centers For Disease Control released a report stating that during 2005, there were 94,000 life-threatening infections and 19,000 deaths, from methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. Most cases were connected with health care facilities.

Press reports say staph infections, including MRSA, have spread through schools in recent weeks.

There was a report of nine athletes and a coach at an upstate New York college contracting infections, and a Virginia high school student allegedly died of a staph infection.

There are 15 confirmed cases of staph infection in the Elmwood school district, which is south and east of Bowling Green in Wood County, said Steven Pritts, Elmwood district superintendent.

Oricko said one of the best things a person can do to avoid an infection “is wash your hands- practice good hygiene,” he said.

Other tips include:

•Cover scrapes, burns, and other wounds with waterproof bandages until completely healed.

•Do not use loofahs, netted sponges, or other scrubbing items.

•Do not get tattoos or piercings.

•Athletes should shower immediately after training, practices, or games.

•Use towels, washcloths, and uniforms once, then launder in warm or hot water.

•When showering, wash sores last.

•Do not share personal items, i.e., razors, tweezers, towels, washcloths, bars of soap, etc.

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