Mrsa | MRSA Jail Cases Not Serious, Officials Say


By Todd G. Dickson

Las Cruces Bulletin

Following news reports about eight cases of county detainees coming down with a drug-resistant bacterial infection, county officials are assuring the situation is being handled.

The staff infection is Methicillin- resistant Staphylococcus aureus, more commonly referred to as MRSA. What makes MRSA scary to some is its resistance to traditional medications, such as penicillin and amoxicillin.

Though MRSA is very contagious, it is done primarily through contact and not airborne, said Chris Barela, detention center administrator.

Many MRSA cases are “inactive” and it’s treated liked handling contaminated material, Barela said. Those who are “active” are quarantined, he said, in which the air flow is even controlled.


“People who come into the detention center, come in with it,” he said. “That’s when we help them get it under control.

“We help them bring it under control very quickly.”

closely with the state Department of Health.

After a detailed discussion about MRSA at the County Commission meeting Wednesday, Oct. 12, officials are now urging calm with reasonable precautions.

The detention center, which houses about 850 detainees, has inmates with a variety of medical conditions and there have


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