Protecting Your Child from Enterovirus D68 & Ebola
As you are likely aware, the United States has been experiencing a nationwide outbreak of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) associated with severe respiratory illness that has been especially harmful to children. At the same time, many have questions about protecting students against the threat of the Ebola virus. MPS has already taken some proactive steps to help prevent the spread of the Entero-Virus and the flu. We believe these measures will also help reduce the risk of Ebola, too.
·School nurses have been encouraged to work with principals and school staff to reiterate hand washing and other “germ-stopping” habits. Hand washing is still the best, most effective method to protect against the spread of infectious illnesses.
· Custodians have received training on how to use new chemical disinfectants and sprays in bathrooms, common areas and when cleaning classroom surfaces such as desks. These products contain tuberculocidals and pseudomonicidals which are effective against MRSA, H1N1, influenza virus and others.
·Children and staff should stay home if they are sick. A parent should be contacted anytime a child comes to school with a fever.
·The symptoms of Ebola include a fever above 101.5, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and unexplained unusual bleeding or bruising. Those symptoms can occur anywhere from two to 21 days within exposure to Ebola. Parents or legal guardians of children that present with these symptoms will be notified as soon as possible.
·Parents should make the school aware if their child has been in close contact with anyone who has traveled to the West African nations affected by Ebola, including Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, within the past 21 days and has symptoms.
·MPS will continue to work closely with the State Department of Education and Alabama Department of Public Health Department regarding any additional steps that should be taken to protect students and school staff.
For more information on the district's Enterovirus D68 and Ebola preparations, call the Communication Office at (334) 223-6761. General Information about Enterovirus D68 and Ebola can be found on the Centers for Disease Control Website or at the links below.
Know the symptoms of EV-D68:
EV-D68 can cause mild to severe respiratory illness. • Mild symptoms may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches.
• Severe symptoms may include wheezing and difficulty breathing. Call your child’s doctor if he or she is having difficulty breathing, if you feel you are unable to control their symptoms, or if symptoms are getting worse. If your child develops severe illness, he or she may need to be hospitalized.
Help protect your family from EV-D68 To help avoid getting and spreading EV-D68, parents and children should always follow basic steps to stay healthy.
• Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Washing hands correctly is the most important thing you can do to stay healthy. • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. • Avoid close contact, such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils, with people who are sick. • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve, not your hands. • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick. • Stay home when you are sick and keep sick children out of school.
Below are CDC resources about EV-D68 and Ebola developed for parents:
· Web Feature, “What Parents Need to Know About Enterovirus D68”