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Swine Flu

by June Storey

September 16, 2009

 

9-16-2009

 

Dear Parents/Guardians,

 

Re:  Swine (H1N1) Flu Update

 

AISD wants all parents to be aware of the measures we are taking to keep your child/children safe and healthy in the school setting.  I am sure by now you have read or seen on television reports of the H1N1 “Swine Flu”.  We are cleaning all classrooms and constantly reminding the students to wash their hands.  Every classroom has alcohol-based hand sanitizer on the wall, which the students can use upon entering the classroom and also when leaving.  I have listed below things that the CDC has recommended to help protect you and your family from becoming ill, but first let me relay vital information that has been sent to us concerning the H1N1 virus. 

 

It is a new influenza (flu) virus that was first detected in people in the United States in April 2009.  Swine flu is not transmitted by food, including pork.  It is spread from person to person through coughing or sneezing.  The virus can survive on surfaces and infect people for up to 8 hours.

 

H1N1 flu in humans can vary from mild to severe, with some cases ending in death.  Please don’t panic. If we all work together practicing good hygiene and follow steps given out by the local health departments and the CDC, we can fight this virus and win.

 

Listed below are the signs and symptoms of the H1N1 Flu:

  • Fever that is greater than 100 degrees
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fatigue

        Diarrhea

        Vomiting

 

Severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported.  Like seasonal flu, H1N1 may cause a worsening of chronic medical conditions.

 

When to Seek Immediate Medical Care: 

  • Fast breathing or difficulty breathing
  • Bluish or gray skin color especially around the lips and nails
  • Not drinking enough fluids, refusing to drink
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Pain or pressure in chest or stomach
  • Sudden dizziness or confusion
  • Quiet and inactive, no interest in playing
  • Irritable and doesn’t want to be held, or bothered
  • Flu-like symptoms improve, but then return with fever and worse cough

 

Stay home if you or your child is sick with the flu until 24 hours after there is no longer a fever or signs of a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine).

 

Children and teenagers should not be given aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid); this can cause a rare, but serious illness called Reye syndrome.

 

Make sure your child gets plenty of rest and drinks clear fluids (such as water, broth, sports drinks) to prevent dehydration.  For infants, use electrolyte beverages such as Pedialyte.

 

Protect Family Members By:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if water is not available
  • Try and avoid close contact with sick people
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Don’t drink or eat after others
  • Get plenty of sleep, exercise, and nutritious foods daily
  • Keep your sick children in separate rooms away from members not sick
  • Clean surfaces and objects that your child frequently touches

        Get your family vaccinated for seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine according to CDC recommendations when vaccines become available

 

      We also ask that while being diligent in protecting your family from the H1N1 flu, continue to watch your children/child for staphylococcus on the skin.  It can appear as a boil or pimple.  This can also be life threatening, if the bacteria goes into the bloodstream.  We are also using the same cleaning techniques as described above.   

 

 If you have any question about anything, please feel free to call me at (903-684-3431) or at home (903-684-3504).

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