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Weekly Report: Download Weekly Report 11_5_09  (Download PDF Weekly Report 11_5_09)  

As illustrated in this weeks report, we continue to see dramatic increases in the number of cases of Influenza-like illness (ILI) across the state. This means that it is more important than ever for everyone to follow our flu prevention and control measures.

 

Not surprisingly, many schools are seeing an increase of H1N1 flu circulating and parents are, understandably, concerned about their children getting sick. We would like to share with you some information on how the Department of Public Health is working with administrators and school nurses across the state to help them prevent the spread of the flu.

 

Schools have put many effective measures in place and are actively taking steps to interrupt virus transmission. In addition, schools are screening all students for flu-like symptoms and are diligently monitoring absenteeism in both students and staff.

 

We are all committed to keeping schools open and functioning as usual, however, we recognize that on a case-by-case basis, some schools may need to consider closing. When making this decision, schools will take several factors into account including the extent to which ILI has impaired the school’s ability to perform its educational functions. Thus, a higher than usual absentee rate does not necessarily mean that a school should close.

 

We all agree that parents are a key partner in the fight against the flu. If your child does have the flu and is showing a fever, please do not give them fever reducing medication and send them to school. This exposes other students to illness and creates higher absentee rates. Also, if you child does stay home from school, do not let them go to other places where they could spread the flu virus to other people, such as after school programs, the mall, or sporting events. If you’re not sure whether to keep your child home, you can use the Flu Symptoms checklist on our website.

 

If your child is not sick, they should go to school. Keeping your healthy child away from school will not help better protect them from the virus. Remember, if there is flu present in your school, this means that there is also flu in your community.

 

Everyone can help prevent transmission by teaching both children and adults the basic flu prevention steps, including washing their hands often with soap and water or an alcohol based hand sanitizer, and covering their mouth when they cough or sneeze.

Written By:


Communications Office

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