Infectious disease specialist Dr. Carl Abraham, Jr. says he's seen the number of MRSA infections on the rise in Region 8.
"This is a community phenomenon. People from the community come into the school with this infection," said Abraham.
Dr. Abraham says the superbug staph infection that seems to be so prevalent nowadays in schools, hospitals and prisons was first noticed in Northeast Arkansas in 2003 and now, it's taken on a life of it's own, resistant to antibiotics that were previously used to treat the infection.
Abraham says that makes it a whole lot more difficult for doctors to diagnose and treat patients.
"If you don't know that it's MRSA, that person esentially is not treated," he said.
Not being treated can lead to a severe, sometimes life-threatening, infection that can set in within a peroid of 24 to 48 hours after the person first makes contact with the bacteria.
"This new MRSA is producing a toxin that can lead to very rapid infections," said Abraham.
So, how do you prevent getting the super staph infection?
Dr. Abraham says wash those hands, or better yet, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Abraham says he'd like to see it in every school and business.
"It's an investment for schools to keep kids in school, it's an investment for businesses for days lost of work," he said.