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Inforney.com is reporting the Kemp Independent School District has confirmed new cases of impetigo, a highly contagious skin infection at Kemp High School.

The letter reads in part “We have had a few confirmed cases of impetigo at the high school.”

Parents are asked to keep any infected children home until a doctor says its okay to return to school. Typically it takes 24 hours after a person begins treatment with antibiotics.

Impetigo is most likely to affect children from 2 to 5 years old. The first sign is a patch of red, itchy skin.

The letter states: “Impetigo is a common and highly contagious skin infection. It 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.

According to the Mayo Clinic website, Impetigo typically is treated with an antibiotic ointment or cream that you apply directly to the sores. You may need to first soak the affected area in warm water or use wet compresses to help remove the scabs so the antibiotic can penetrate the skin.

If the sores don't clear, even with antibiotic treatment, your doctor may take a sample of the liquid produced by a sore and test it to see what types of antibiotics might work best on it. Some types of the bacteria that cause impetigo have become resistant to certain antibiotic drugs.

The Medical News Today website states Impetigo is caused by either Staphylococcus more commonly known as a staph infection or Streptococcus.

According to the website one person can become infected by touching things that an infected person has been in contact with, such as bed linen, towels, toys, and clothing. Once infected, that person can easily pass it on to other people.

Symptoms do not appear until 4 to 10 days after initial exposure to the bacteria. During those days, people often pass the infection on to others because they do not know they are infected.

Children may be more likely to become infected and show symptoms because their immune systems are not yet fully developed.

 Anyone with additional questions is asked to contact the Kemp High School nurse  Liz Thorne, RN,  at 903-498-1400 ext 2008; Stacey Simon, RN, Kemp Jr. High nurse, 903-498-1400 ext 3008; Jennifer Caughron, RN, Kemp Intermediate nurse, 903-498-1400 ext 4008; Tiffany Corbett, RN, Kemp Primary, 903-498-1400 ext 5008.

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