Tips for influenza and respiratory illness containment in school outbreaks.
School absence rates are increasing across the state, as are the number of influenza-associated outbreaks. Once rates of absence reach 10 percent, an outbreak may be occurring, and the public health department should be contacted. (Some schools have reached over 25 percent of students absent on a single day due to influenza.) The following are key intervention measures for schools to stop transmission and potentially contain outbreaks of influenza and other respiratory diseases:
a. Work with the local public health agency (LPHA) to decrease transmission of these viruses and possibly decrease the school's outbreak impact on the community at large.
b. Conduct thorough environmental cleaning daily. Include stair hand rails, doorknobs and other commonly touched surfaces.
c. Send an informative letter home to parents as early in the outbreak as possible.
• Be sure to include the following items or symptoms of influenza to recognize when a child has the flu.
• if a child has the flu, they should stay home, and get vaccinated each year, especially children with health problems like asthma.
d. Teach and encourage children and staff to wash hands regularly with warm water and soap.
e. Consider the use of hand sanitizer in the classroom when soap and water are not readily available.
f. Limit assemblies, large group gatherings and interactions with other schools during a flu outbreak.
g. Use the resources at the State Health Department. Visit the influenza Web site here for fact sheets, student activities and more.
Strep Throat - Symptoms may be mild or severe. You usually start to feel sick about 2 to 5 days after you come in contact with the bacteria.
Symptoms usually begin suddenly, and can include, but not limited to:
- Fever that begins suddenly and is often highest on the second day
- Red throat, sometimes with white patches
- Sore throat
- General ill feeling
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Difficulty swallowing
|This is a very good website about health issues concerning students, children and infants. Check out all the information there. The link to KidsHealth is http://www.kidshealth.org/