Impetigo is spread by "close contact, is not serious [and] is fairly common in high school athletic programs," Klein wrote, noting that several times in the last two years wrestling meets and practices had to be canceled because of impetigo.
The blistering and oozing associated with the superficial infection are caused by staphylococcus or streptococcus bacteria entering through a cut or scratch. Such infections are treated with topical ointments or oral antibiotics. Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, the strain known as MRSA, can be particularly difficult to treat.
Of an unspecified number of student athletes who underwent skin checks Thursday and Friday, 25 in the varsity, junior varsity, and freshman football programs, and one soccer player, were referred for further screening by physicians, Klein wrote.
Parents were told their sons could not return to the field until cleared by a doctor. Results for the freshmen were not yet available, Klein said in an interview.
But of the 19 sophomores, juniors, and seniors asked to contact their physicians, he said, six had confirmed cases of impetigo.
He said none of the screened students tested positive for MRSA, although one member of the football team, who has been out of school since Sept. 21, well before last week's outbreak, had been diagnosed with MRSA.
"Based on the information we now have on this case," Klein wrote in the e-mail, "we don't believe any of our current students are at risk for contacting MRSA by being in our buildings or facilities."
The health scare at the school caused Friday's scheduled game at Pennsbury to be rescheduled for Monday evening.
Opened in 2002, Council Rock South has more than 2,000 students and sprawls across acres of flat, grassy fields.
Contact Michael Matza at 215-854-2541 or firstname.lastname@example.org.