September 24, 2009
Dear St. Patrick Parents,
As many of you are aware, there are several cases of H1N1 at St. Patrick School. We continue taking steps to reduce the spread of regular seasonal flu and H1N1 while limiting the disruption of day-to-day activities. For now, we are doing everything we can to keep our school functioning as usual, and we still need your help to keep the outbreaks to a minimum. If your child has “flu-like” symptoms, Influenza A, or H1N1, please call the clinic so I can keep the numbers accurate for the Alachua County Health Department.
CDC now recommends that people with influenza-like illness remain at home until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100° F [37.8°C]), or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
This is a change from the previous recommendation that ill persons stay home for 7 days after illness onset or until 24 hours after the resolution of symptoms, whichever was longer. The new recommendation applies to camps, schools, businesses, mass gatherings, and other community settings where the majority of people are not at increased risk for influenza complications. Therefore, if your child/children have been diagnosed with “flu-like” symptoms, Influenza A, or H1N1, he/she may return to school if he/she is fever free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medications.
I know you have heard the following but here it goes again….
Teach your children to wash their hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. You can set a good example by doing this yourself.
Teach your children not to share personal items like drinks, food, or unwashed utensils, and to cover their coughs and sneezes with tissues. Covering up their coughs or sneezes using the elbow, arm or sleeve instead of the hand when a tissue is unavailable.
Know the signs and symptoms of the flu. Symptoms of the flu include fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit, 37.8 degrees Celsius or greater), cough, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, and feeling very tired. Some people may also vomit or have diarrhea.
Keep sick children at home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have fever or do not have signs of fever, without using fever-reducing drugs. Keeping children with a fever at home will reduce the number of people who may get infected.
Do not send children to school if they are sick. Any children who are determined to be sick while at school will be sent home.
Your help is greatly appreciated in keeping all the children healthy and in school. Please call me if you have any questions or concerns.
Deloris Paul, RN