Dear Staff and Parents:
You may have heard the recent national news alerting us that 1,000 children have been affected by a virus which has now spread through 10 states. The "Human Enterovirus 68" is a relative of the common cold, or "Rhinovirus." It can quickly turn from cold-like symptoms to an upper respiratory illness. That can affect the breathing of children 5 and under and those with asthma.
Since school is just back in session, your school and nurse are on alert, too. Once we all get into our smaller spaces, the opportunity to spread germs is quite literally, all around us! We look to our county health department for guidance when cases like this appear. We will provide communication to parents to help manage illness and minimize the spread of disease.
But parents can be proactive by reporting their child's symptoms when they make those sick calls to the school office. Tracking symptoms helps the district determine if they need to contact county health officials. Everyone can help keep viruses like this from spreading, too, by taking those usual steps including covering coughs and frequent hand washing.
Which brings us to our second point: HANDWASHING! The WLWV nurses in the primary schools are making time to meet with kindergarten classes to show them how to effectively wash up and reduce the likelihood of receiving or spreading illness.
We have included information below from the Oregon Public Health Department pertaining to Enterovirus D68:
Oregon Public Health: Enterovirus D68
Enteroviruses are common causes of illness, especially among infants and children.
Many cases are mild or asymptomatic.
Initial reports suggest that those at increased risk for severe illness include children under the age of 5 and those with chronic lung disease, including asthma.
People can protect themselves and others from respiratory illness by:
- Washing hands often with soap and water. For enteroviruses, alcohol hand sanitizer is not a
replacement for washing with soap and water.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. If you don't have a
tissue, cover your mouth with your sleeve.
- Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is
- If you are sick, stay home to avoid exposing others at school or in the workplace.
For more information about hand washing and hand sanitizer:
Paula Hall, RN
School District Nurse