Classes Resume at Staph-Infected Palestine-Wheatley

PALESTINE, AR - Classes resumed yesterday in the Palestine-Wheatley School District after a day of disinfecting the district's three schools, following a student's hospitalization with a staph infection resistant to a certain antibiotic.

Many students brought their own soap or sanitizer to school, and student absences were up although officials didn't know if the increase was a result of parents' concerns.

Meanwhile, the state Health Dept. says Tuesday's closing at Palestine-Wheatley sparked concern among parents statewide regarding the cleanliness of public schools.

But the department says the infection, known as MSRA, is spread by person-to-person contact in most cases, and closing and cleaning schools has only "minimal impact" in preventing the infection.

The health department says it's most important for people to wash their hands, and do it often.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)