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Environmental & Surface Testing

Category Press Release
Publish Date 3/5/2020
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Impetigo Outbreak Reported at South Carolina Middle School
Introduction EMSL Analytical offers environmental surface testing services to identify microbial pathogens and confirm disinfection procedures are effective to prevent the spread of impetigo and other infectious diseases.

Charlotte, NC, March 5th , 2020

Multiple media outlets in South Carolina recently reported on an outbreak of impetigo at a middle school in the state. According to the reports, four students from the school were treated for the skin infection and school administrators notified parents of the outbreak. Impetigo is highly contagious and is typically caused by Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

The school also initiated enhanced surface disinfection procedures to help prevent any further spread of the bacterial infection. This is a critical step as disinfection procedures are crucial for stopping the spread of impetigo since the bacteria infects others through direct or surface contact with sores or mucus from the nose or throat of an infected person.

New cases occur when the bacteria enters a person’s skin through cuts, scrapes or insect bites. In most cases, lesions appear 1-3 days later as red, weeping sores or blisters where the bacteria entered the skin. The condition is fairly common in preschool and school-age children. It can also occur anywhere there are crowded conditions and participation in skin-to-skin contact activities, such as sports. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states there are over 3 million cases each year in the United States.

“Impetigo is usually easily treated with antibiotics,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc.  “However, when it’s caused by MRSA, treatment options and the potential severity of the infection can change dramatically. Environmental surface testing to pinpoint the source of an outbreak due to surface pathogens or to confirm the effectiveness of disinfection procedures plays an important role in preventing and stopping these types of outbreaks. To help in these situations, EMSL’s network of environmental laboratories across North America offer surface testing for a wide range of microorganisms and provide all of the sampling supplies necessary to collect and submit samples.”

EMSL has also sponsored an educational video about impetigo that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/qV_bE5kOj6M.

To learn more about environmental testing for microbial pathogens or other building science, occupational, health and safety services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.


About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with 46 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.
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