Ephrata school district working to protect students against enterovirus

By on October 29, 2014

 

The Ephrata Area School District is doing its part to be proactive when it comes to battling the flu season this year.

Every year, millions of children in the United States catch enteroviruses, which can cause coughing, sneezing and fever. This year, the enterovirus that is most commonly causing respiratory illness in children across the country is enterovirus-D68 (EV-D68).

The Ephrata Area School District staff and administration says they committed to providing a safe and secure learning environment.

“The district is taking a proactive approach,” said Sarah McBee, community relations coordinator for the district, “We’ve seen no increase in sickness, but want to keep families informed of our efforts to stay on top of combating influenza and the EV-D68 virus. It is very important to (Superintendent) Dr. (Brian) Troop that the district maintain open communication with parents and guardians.”

“We would like to share information with you about how we can partner to protect children from influenza and enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), a severe respiratory illness,” the school district said in a letter emailed to parents and guardians.. “We have been following the recommendations of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, have elevated our efforts to monitor students for symptoms and are practicing stringent cleaning protocols.”

So far, the enterovirus has not made an appearance.

“At this point, Wellspan Ephrata Community Hospital has not identified any enterovirus, or flu cases,” said Amy Walsh, community relations coordinator at WECH. “We strongly support the recommendations that flu vaccine is an extremely important component of avoiding illness due to influenza.”

The school also has some recommendations.

It need your assistance to help reduce the spread of illness in the Ephrata Area School District, the email further states. The Centers for Disease Control suggests ways to help avoid catching and spreading influenza and EV-D68.

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Washing hands correctly is the most important thing you can do to stay healthy. (See information about proper hand washing at cdc.gov/handwashing/index.html.)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, including kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils.
  • 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.

The district said it is notifying parents and guardians in an effort to maintain open communication regarding influenza and EV-D68. Parents may call the school nurse in their child’s building if they have any questions

 

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