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Raleigh dance company closes after MRSA infection

Posted February 24, 2010
Updated February 25, 2010

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— A Raleigh dance company was temporarily closed Wednesday after an athlete tested positive for MRSA, or methycillin-resistant staphylococcus aurea. MRSA is a strain of bacteria resistant to most antibiotics. It can cause serious and costly infections in the blood stream.

Michelle Haswell, owner of Elite Cheer and Dance, 3511 Maitland Drive, said a boy, whose name was not released, tested positive for MRSA in his knee. Since the bacteria can spread rapidly, the facility was immediately shut down.

“It is spread person-to-person, usually with close contact,” said Robin Carver, WakeMed's director of infection control.

Carver said people often carry the MRSA bacteria on their skin, and it's usually not a problem with proper hygiene.

“Normally, we have this transient bacteria that we pick up all the time. That's why we wash our hands frequently, because if our skin is intact, we pick up the germs. We wash our hands, and we get rid of them, and they don't affect us,” Carver said.

The athlete was recovering Wednesday evening, and no other cases of MRSA had been reported at Elite Cheer and Dance, Haswell said.

The dance company is thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting the gym before allowing anyone back in the building.

Haswell said the cleaning and disinfecting process should wrap up Thursday afternoon. She hopes to reopen the facility Saturday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says nearly 100,000 people develop infections from MRSA every year. Approximately 19,000 die as a result. More than 85 percent of the infections are associated with time spent in health-care facilities.


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  • WXYZ Feb 26, 2010

    There are other questions to be asked: (1) Did the facility actually test for the presence of MRSA via cultures before they were sanitized? (2) Were the public health authorities notified and requested to do investigations? (3) What makes the way this facility is run any different from any other private or government owned (e.g. schools) exercise facility for adults or children? (3) How common is a MRSA infection of a child's knee? (4) Did anyone inspect the child's home for MRSA? (5) Did the child have any recent cut, scrapes or contusions? (6) Is someone fishing for a liablility suit?

  • Justin T. Feb 25, 2010

    Oh, MRSA me!

  • FromClayton Feb 25, 2010

    Thank you for being proactive and closing for a good cleaning. I dont know if anyone "made" you do it, or if you just knew it was the right thing to do. MRSA is some bad stuff that could have come from anywhere and I'm proud of this business for taking propper actions to protect the rest of the children there. I had much rather hear about ONE kid with MRSA than 25 because the business did not take it seriously.