KEMP, Texas — In a letter to parents on Wednesday, the Kemp Independent School District (ISD) confirmed "a few" cases of Impetigo, a highly-contagious skin infection, at Kemp High School.
"We have had a few confirmed cases of Impetigo at the high school," stated the letter.
Parents are asked to keep any infected children home until a doctor says he or she isn't contagious anymore — typically 24 hours after they begin treatment with antibiotics.
"Impetigo is a common and highly contagious skin infection," continues the letter. "Impetigo usually appears as red sores on the face, especially around the nose and mouth, but can be spread to other areas of the body by fingers, clothing and towels. Itching and soreness are generally mild. The sores burst and develop honey-colored crusts."
"You're exposed to the bacteria that causes impetigo when you come into contact with the sores of someone who's infected or with items they've touched — such as clothing, bed linen, towels and even toys," according to the letter.
Impetigo most commonly occurs among children between the ages of two and five, in crowded school or child care settings. Impetigo infections are also more common in the summer. Certain sports may also contribute to the spread of the infection, such as sports involving skin-to-skin contact.
The bacteria that causes impetigo often enters the skin through a small skin injury, insect bite, or rash.
Kemp ISD provided the following tips to prevent the spread of illness:
Keeping skin clean is the best way to keep it healthy. It's important to wash cuts, scrapes, insect bites and other wounds right away.
- Gently wash the affected areas with mild soap and running water and then cover lightly with gauze.
- Wash an infected person's clothes, linens and towels every day and don't share them with anyone else in your family.
- Wear gloves when applying antibiotic ointment and wash your hands thoroughly afterward.
- Cut an infected child's nails short to prevent damage from scratching.
- Wash hands frequently.•Keep your child home until your doctor says he or she isn't contagious.
Anyone with additional questions is asked to contact their school nurse: Liz Thorne, RN, Kemp High School, at 903-498-1400 ext 2008; Stacey Simon, RN, Kemp Jr. High, 903-498-1400 ext 3008; Jennifer Caughron, RN, Kemp Intermediate, 903-498-1400 ext 4008; Tiffany Corbett, RN, Kemp Primary , 903-498-1400 ext 5008.