Palestine-Wheatley Schools Close after Staph Infection

PALESTINE, AR - The Palestine-Wheatley school district canceled classes today so workers can clean classrooms and hallways to combat an agressive, antibiotic-resistant staph germ.

An elementary school student was diagnosed as having the bug.

School officials say they hope to re-open the district's three schools tomorrow.  The school sent letters home with students Monday, offering details about methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.  The infection generally affects those with weakened immune systems in hospitals.  But health officials say a new strain can cause severe infections and even death in otherwise healthy people outside of health care settings.

The unidentified student is being treated with antibiotics at a Memphis hospital.

The Palestine-Wheatley school district is based in Palestine in St. Francis County and has 566 students.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)