MRSA at Ferris

Two cases of anti-biotic resistant infection uncovered on Big Rapids campus

At approximately 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 10, Director of Birkam Health Center Lindsay Barber released a campus-wide email disclosing the discovery of two cases of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) on Ferris’ campus.

MRSA is a type of staph bacteria that enters the body through an open wound. Once there, symptoms can be as mild as sores or boils, or as severe as infection in the blood, lungs or urinary tract.

The disease can often be identified by an area of the skin that is red, swollen, painful, warm to touch, full of pus, and/or accompanied by a fever.

MRSA can be spread through both skin-to-skin contact and contact with an infected surface, and is made particularly dangerous by its longevity.

MRSA has developed a resistance to common antibiotics including methicillin, amoxicillin, penicillin and oxacillin. For this reason, MRSA is sometimes referred to as a “super bug” and can be life-threatening if left untreated.

In addition to the announcement the university also released a page of frequently asked questions in which the following techniques for prevention were suggested for all students:

  • Maintain good hand and body hygiene. Wash hands often, clean your body regularly, especially after exercise.
  • Keep cuts, scrapes and wounds clean and covered until healed.
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as towels and razors.
  • Get care early if your think you might have an infection.
  • Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions on proper wound care
  • Wash used sheets, towels, and clothes with water and laundry detergent. Use a dryer to dry them completely.

Ferris’ Physical Plant, as well as several other offices around campus, are in the process of disinfecting all potentially contaminated areas in order to prevent the bacteria from spreading.

According to Barber the two students that were infected are currently in treatment and are being monitored.

For more information on the disease visit

Additionally, Barber will be available over the weekend at the Birkam Health Center phone number, (231) 591-2614, to address any questions or concerns.