UPDATED: Harrison Cafeteria Worker Goes Home with Nail Infection

'We subsequently disinfected everything as a standard precaution with the students' health a priority.' - Superintendent Lawrence Korchnak

A cafeteria worker at in went home on Tuesday, Nov. 29, after it was discovered that that worker was suffering from a nail infection known as paronychia.

UPDATE:  Superintendent Dr. Lawrence C. Korchnak reported that the worker was "sent home," but William D. McKain, the district's assistant to the superintendent for finance and operations, has since clarified that "the worker went home voluntarily."

Paronychia causes swelling, redness and pain when bacteria enters the area between a finger or toe's skin and that finger or toe's nail.

Upon discovering the infection, "We (district officials) subsequently disinfected everything as a standard precaution with the students' health a priority," Korchnak said.

No other cases of infection related to the incident have been reported.


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Cristy Stipetic November 30, 2011 at 08:42 PM
Am I missing the importance of this? Why is this news? Are we disinfecting everything when someone has athlete's foot, blisters, cuts and scrapes and a cold? Please be sure to send everyone home who has the sniffles. Paronychias are common, and very prevalent in people who wash their hands repeatedly, (just one cause of a long list of casuses) Paronychias are not contagious from person to person. A band-aid and glove would have been adequate measure to prevent the spread of any bodily fluid (comparable to a blister).
Cristy Stipetic November 30, 2011 at 08:49 PM
Sorry I now see why it was news....and needed clarified!
momma November 30, 2011 at 09:02 PM
ALL of the facts are not being disclosed, the individual had this infection before break, had a fever on 11-29-11 and was then sent home, does a "nail infection" last over a week and get worse? Does it require an emergency room visit? As a parent with kids in this school we should be notified. MRSA is serious and not just a cut or scrape! Do you want that person feeding your kid? Not me and will be packing my boys lunch from now on! The worker should have stayed home when it first occured or at least brought it to the attention of a superior to make a decision on whether or not she can handle food, but instead this went on for 2 more days and A LOT of food was tossed out, taxpayers money in the trash!
Cristy Stipetic November 30, 2011 at 10:16 PM
I have experienced first hand a paronychia or 3 in my life and yes they can warrant an ER visit and it is an infection (which could cause a fever) They start out as a minor irritation usually on the side of your nailbed and gradually over a week or so time get more sensitive and tender, inflamed and red, and pus filled. Sometimes a visit to the ER or MedExpress (which I did with the first 2) are needed so the site can be lanced and drained. The third I had this past summer and I squeezed it until it popped and it was fine after that. I had the first ones cultured and they were both negative for MRSA, but postive for an infection, treated by antibiotics. The third I took care of myself. I too am a parent in this district and although it would be lovely to know every detail about every perosn who may ever be sick and can give anything to our child the DISTRICT is bound by confidentiality and the employee also has the right to confidentiality regarding their persoanl health. Just saying unless you are 100% sure of this person's condition. have ALL the facts and heard it from them please stop posting information that gets parents in an uproar for no reason. Besides you or your child can be sitting next to a person with an infectious disease (MRSA) at the mall, on a bus, at a baseball game or the grocery store and YOU will never know it. We do what we can to protect our children but you can't protect them from something you don't see.
Janet Vucich December 03, 2011 at 02:20 PM
Christy, you are correct that you cannot protect yourself or family from infections unseen but food handlers fall into an entirely different category when it comes to "sanitary conditions" (if you will) with regard to employment. It is up to management to follow protocol which, apparently they did.


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