Los Angeles police officers were exposed to a bacteria that can cause difficult-to-treat staph infections, the department said Tuesday.
Three officers who work at the West Valley Station in Reseda were placed on medical leave after possibly contracting MRSA as part of an outbreak that began in the past few days, KNX1070 reported citing a LAPD watch commander. Los Angeles police issued a statement confirming officers were exposed to the disease. Work areas that might have been exposed were disinfected, the department said.
"The health, safety, and wellbeing of our Los Angeles Police Department officers is critical and we are ensuring the officers exposed to this disease are cared for," the department said in the statement. "First responders throughout the region and especially here in Los Angeles are constantly responding to incidents that put them at risk of potential exposure to various diseases, and that’s why the Department takes this incident very seriously. All of the work areas that may have been exposed have been disinfected."
It was not immediately clear how the officers came into contact with the bacteria.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) can cause staph infection. It's difficult to treat because of its resistance to some antibiotics.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said staph infections -- including those linked to MRSA -- can spread in hospitals, other healthcare facilities, workplaces and schools. Symptoms include rash, headaches, muscle aches, chills, fever, fatigue, cough, shortness of breath and chest pain.