Staph menace generates concern
illions of Americans are on edge about staph. Residents of Dyersburg are no exception. “Staph is prevalent in the community, but those who are especially at risk are individuals with decreased immune systems,” said nurse Kim Dew. “I think that it (staph) is bad and no one needs to get it,” junior John Henderson said. Officially known as Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, this destructive microbe was discovered in 1880. According to Wikipedia.com, staph was relegated basically to post-surgical victims; however, the bacteria has run rampant recently and infects around 500,000 Americans every year. It has been a main topic in the news recently and has attracted needed publicity. “I heard about staph on the news when they were closing schools to clean them,” senior Ryan Sawyers said. The Pennsylvania Department of Health website reported that around 25 to 30 percent of Staphylococcus au-
reus bacteria is present in the nose but not infectious. Staph usually causes only minor skin infections, but it also is capable of causing serious diseases. Staph is the leading cause of skin infections in the United States. One more potent type of staph is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. This is often referred to as MRSA and only one percent of the strain is not infectious. This strain of the bacteria is causing concern for both officials and citizens of the United States. Many people are taking precautions. “I wash my hands and keep GermX in my purse,” sophomore Megan Ferguson said. “People should not panic, but at the same time they should be prepared. One way is by coughing into your sleeve instead of your hands,” said nurse Dew. MRSA is resistant to most antibiotics and can only be fought with a few lone medicines. If it is able to adapt to these medicines, there is a potential for a nation-wide epidemic.
cole smith See related article on Pages 9 & 19.
Fighting infection: Genaro Martinez and Ashlea Joshaway combat MRSA by using Germ-X during class. Frequent hand cleansing is an effective way to prevent both kinds of staff.
Photo by Allyson Agee
Doing lunch: Rachel Carter and Rachael Anderson enjoy lunch at the new round tables in the commons.
Round tables in commons more inviting
hat do Dyersburg High School and Alcatraz Prison have in common? According to Principal Mickey Mahon, our long tables were very similar to dining facilities in the famous prison in the San Francisco Bay. “When you walk into a prison, there is a long row of tables like the ones that were in the commons,” Mahon said. This and the fact that the long tables had been decorating our commons for at least 30 years were the two major factors that contributed to the decision by our school system to purchase circular tables. “The old, long tables were chipped and breaking, so it was mandatory that new tables be purchased,” Mahon said. The administration also
believes that the round tables offer more of an opportunity for students to visit with each other. According to Mahon, although there are many individuals who believe that the new, round tables do not offer this opportunity to visit, most are convinced that the change is good. Still, some are completely indifferent to the subject. “I don’t care as long as I have a place to sit,” sophomore Anne Taylor Davis said. The administration has apparently been pleased with the response the tables have received. Prior to the start of the 2008-2009 school year, DHS plans to purchase more round tables, as well as a few new long tables to complete the acquisition of fresh, new dining equipment in the commons.
allyson agee See related article on Page 9.
Photo by Cole Smith
Issue 3 07-08