Rock Island County, IL Tuesday, the Rock Island County Health Department confirmed there are seven reported cases of staph infection within the county. THe Illinois Department of Public Health defines an outbreak as two or more cases. According to the Centers for Disease Control, it's a bacteria that about 30 percent of people carry in their nose; however, some of the time the bacteria can become infectious. Chief Operating Officer at the Rock Island County Health Department, Janet Hill, said most of the time the infection is preventable.
"Disease does not like soap and water so any germs that you come into contact with, soap and water is going to take care of it almost all of them."
Faculty and staff at Riverdale Elementary School are going to extra lengths to sanitize their classrooms. According to school principal, Josh Temple, three of their students have contracted the infection.
"We put out a letter to parents, letting them know what it is, what the symptoms are so they can be proactive if they see some of the things that come up."
Health professionals said the infection on skin looks like a blister and can become red, swollen or painful. Hill said many people often confuse staph with MRSA, however staph typically responds to antibiotics whereas MRSA does not.