Infection scare at Loughborough Grammar School
School changing rooms have been deep-cleaned after fears of an outbreak of a potentially serious infection.
Loughborough Grammar School has carried out the cleaning after one of its pupils was found to have PVL – Panton-Valentine Leukocidin.
PVL is a toxin produced by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, from the same family as the hospital superbug MRSA, and quickly weakens the body's immune system by killing off white blood cells.
If it spreads to the lungs it can cause pneumonia, blood poisoning or flesh-eating diseases.
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Health Protection Agency officials were called in after one of the students was found to have the bug after being treated for infected cuts to his legs at Leicester Royal Infirmary.
A second student was then thought to have the same infection, sparking fears there was an outbreak at the school.
Dr Philip Monk, a consultant in public health with the agency, said: "We were alerted last week when a student who had been on a school rugby tour to the Far East was treated for cuts on his legs which were infected and he was found to have PVL."
On Monday, there were fears that a second student who was in hospital being treated for another condition might also have the bug.
Dr Monk said: "It seemed a sensible assumption at the time that this was likely to be an outbreak of PVL and we wrote to inform all parents.
"We also advised the school to undertake deep cleaning in the changing rooms."
However, tests have now shown that the student did not have the same infection and the cases are not related.
Dr Monk said that although the deep clean was not now strictly necessary, the school was going ahead with it.
A number of the 30 boys who were on the rugby tour who also had cuts on the legs which were not healing have, as a precaution, been given a course of antibiotics.
The school declined to comment except to say that it was working with the Health Protection Agency.