HEALTH INFORMATION: RESPIRATORY ILLNESS (EV-D68)
EV-D68 is not frequently identified, so it is less studied and the ways it spreads are not as well-understood as other enteroviruses. EV-D68 causes respiratory illness, and the virus can be found in respiratory secretions such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum. The virus likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces.
To protect yourself, the Allegheny County Health Department advises that children and parents:
1. Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers (hand sanitizers are much less effective for enteroviruses than soap and water).
2. Avoid touching eyes, noses, and mouths with unwashed hands.
3. Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are ill.
4. Disinfect frequently commonly touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, with standard bleach solutions, when someone is ill.
5. Ensure children with asthma follow their treatment regimen and contact their healthcare providers if there are any problems.
Links to Additional Facts for EV-D68:
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
HEALTH INFORMATION: FLU
The flu is a virus passed (1) through the droplets of sneezes and coughs, and (2) by touching surfaces infected by people with influenza. Protecting
yourself is easier than you think:
1. Use a tissue to cover your cough and sneeze. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze in your sleeve, not in your hand. Covering your cough is key to preventing the spread of the virus. Dispose of the tissue immediately and wash your hands. Coughing or sneezing into your sleeve avoids infecting your hands and keeps germs from spreading to people or surfaces around you. 2. Keep your hands away from your face and don’t touch your mouth, nose, or eyes. Germs on your hands can easily spread to your mouth, nose, and eyes when you touch your face. 3. Wash your hands with soap often (or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer). Germs can live for up to 8 hours on all the surfaces you touch. Take the time — every time — to wash your hands when you’ve been in public (that goes for meetings, the supermarket, school, the park…anywhere your hands touch something that other hands have touched). And especially before you eat. 4. Keep frequently used surfaces clean. 5. Stay home if you get sick. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you stay home until at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, leaving the house only to get medical care. Schools and workplaces are encouraging this policy to avoid infecting other students and employees.
One last tip to prepare for the upcoming flu season: Stock over-the-counter medications, alcohol-based cleaner, tissues and plenty of fluids while you’re well to avoid the need for a pharmacy trip in the event you do get sick
The nurse in each building will be watchful for students with influenza-like symptoms (fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, coughing, sore throat, nausea/vomiting and diarrhea) who may have been exposed to the new swine flu strain.
Links to Additional Facts for the Flu: Allegheny County Health Department
HEALTH INFORMATION: MRSA
Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant stapholococcus auerus (CA-MRSA) Resources Overview of Community-Associated MRSA (from the Centers For Disease Control)
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a type of staph that is resistant to certain antibiotics. These antibiotics include methicillin and other more common antibiotics such as oxacillin, penicillin and amoxicillin. Staph infections, including MRSA, occur most frequently among persons in hospitals and healthcare facilities (such as nursing homes and dialysis centers) who have weakened immune systems. MRSA infections that are acquired by persons who have not been recently (within the past year) hospitalized or had a medical procedure (such as dialysis, surgery, catheters) are known as Community-Associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) infections. Staph or MRSA infections in the community are usually manifested as skin infections, such as pimples and boils, and occur in otherwise healthy people.
MRSA Related Documents
Click on the links below for information about Community-Associatied Methicillin-Resistant stapholococcus auerus (CA-MRSA) in the school setting
and strategies for prevention for athletes.
MRSA Fact Sheet , Allegheny County Health Department
Recommendations for Children with Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)in School Settings (PDF)
MRSA and the Athlete
Links to Additional Facts about MRSA:
Allegheny County Health Department – www.achd.net
Pennsylvania Department of Health – www.health.state.pa.us
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – www.cdc.gov
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