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Dear Child Day Care Operator

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Dear Child Day Care Operator Powered By Docstoc
					November 16, 2009

Dear Child Day Care Operator:

Currently, Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 infection in Canada is causing mainly mild illness, with symptoms
similar to seasonal influenza; however, we are seeing a wide spectrum of disease. The New Brunswick
Department of Health is providing you with the information in this package to deal with this situation,
and to prepare for the future. It is important for you, your staff and the children’s parents to be ready to
implement additional steps.

Please continue to follow the practices and procedures in the Guide for Managing Potential Illness in
Child Day Care Facilities in New Brunswick. The information in this package reflects the most current
H1N1 advice issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (OCMOH) for New Brunswick.
In keeping with those guidelines, the New Brunswick Department of Health is not recommending that
child day cares in the province close, even though Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 is circulating in communities
across the province. The resulting disruption would outweigh any potential benefits.

We encourage child day cares to continue:
      •  promoting good routine hygiene precautions such as frequent hand-washing, covering
         coughs and sneezes;
      •  encouraging children, and staff to stay home when ill and seek medical attention as
         necessary; and
      •  keeping common surfaces within the day care environment clean. and,
      •  promoting vaccination.

The OCMOH continues to recommend hand washing as an excellent health prevention measure. Hand
sanitizer should only be used when running water and soap are not available, or when access to them
is not practical. Hand washing posters and videos, and hand sanitizer posters are available at
www.gnb.ca/flu. The posters outline the correct method for hand washing and for the use of hand
sanitizer. More specific protocols beyond this basic technique (e.g. drying with paper towel vs. drying
with a hand dryer) have not been proven to have a significant impact on disease transmission.

You may wish to send a letter home to all parents and staff and/or you may wish to post the enclosed
“Health Advice” in your day care. These communication pieces advise parents and staff to watch their
child or themselves daily for symptoms, to stay at home if they become sick, and seek medical attention
if necessary.

For more information on Pandemic (H1N1) 2009, please feel free to contact your local RHA Public
Health office during normal office hours. For the most up-to-date information on Pandemic (H1N1)
2009 at any time, please visit www.gnb.ca/flu or call our 24-hour Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 phone line at
1-800-580-0038. A full list of public health offices across the province is available on the website as well
as resources specifically for daycares. The website is updated almost daily and the phone line provides
information, symptom triage, and health advice.


Dr. Eilish Cleary
Chief Medical Officer of Health
Health ADVICE - Issued by the Chief Medical Officer of Health
New Brunswick Child Day Cares Protocol
Cases of Pandemic (H1N1) 2009

Following is the Department of Health’s recommended protocol for dealing with Pandemic (H1N1) 2009. This
information reflects the situation in New Brunswick as of November 16, 2009, and may be subject to
change. Please verify that you have the latest version when using.

Day cares are advised to follow general Public Health advice – frequent hand-washing, cover coughs
and sneezes, stay home when ill – and individuals within the day cares should follow their physician’s
advice.

Any child or staff member who is sick with influenza-like symptoms (fever and cough, and one or more of the
following: sore throat, body aches, and fatigue) should:

    •    isolate themselves from others until s/he is free of symptoms, and feeling well;
    •    avoid crowds and public places. If children or staff members are sick with Pandemic (H1N1) 2009, they
         should stay home;
    •    minimize contact with other household members who are not sick by having one designated person
         care for their needs;
    •    continue using good hygiene practices (frequent hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes); and
    •    seek medical attention if necessary.

If a child becomes sick with influenza-like symptoms at day care, then he or she should be isolated from the
well children; the parents / guardians should be contacted to take this child home. Staff members with these
symptoms should go home as soon as possible.

Va c c in a tio n is th e b e s t p ro te c tio n a g a in s t in flu e n za . Th e Offic e o f the Ch ie f Me d ic al Offic er o f He a lth
fo r New Bru n s wic k is o ffe rin g va c c in a tio n for s e a s o n a l in flu e n za an d va c c in a tio n fo r H1N1 in flu e n za.
Th e d a te s , tim e s a n d lo c a tio n of p u b lic in flu e n za im m u n izatio n c lin ics a re a va ila b le o n -lin e at
www.g n b .c a/flu o r b y c a llin g 1-800-580-0038.
The following letter is intended as sample text which you may choose to reuse on your own letterhead
and circulate to parents/guardians and staff. It is up to you to determine if and when this letter should
be circulated based on your local context. If you wish to alter the text of the letter, or wish to receive the
text in electronic format, please contact the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health at
flumedia@gnb.ca. If you wish to send it with other information pieces, tools and resources about
influenza which have been authorized by New Brunswick’s Chief Medical Officer of Health are available
at www.gnb.ca/flu.

November xx, 2009

Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff Members:

Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 is circulating in communities in New Brunswick and there is no reason to think
that [INSERT NAME OF DAY CARE] would be excluded from this situation. In line with current public
health guidance, the closure of child day cares is not being recommended at this time, even when
children or staff at those child day cares have experienced influenza-like symptoms.

Please monitor your child and yourself for influenza-like illness (fever, cough and one or more of the
following: sore throat, body aches and fatigue). If you or your child develops these symptoms, please
follow the current public health advice on this issue, which includes staying home when sick, covering
coughs and sneezes, and frequent hand-washing. You or your child should stay home until free of
symptoms, and feeling well.

Pregnant women with influenza-like symptoms, or people with influenza-like symptoms who have an
underlying medical condition (such as diabetes) or whose immune systems are otherwise
compromised, should present themselves to their health-care provider promptly. Your physician or
nurse practitioner will determine whether antivirals are an appropriate treatment option in your specific
case. Taking antiviral medication to prevent this disease in otherwise healthy people is not
recommended at this time.

It is possible that spread of this infection within the day care has already occurred, so it is important to
review routine infection control measures, such as frequent hand-washing, covering coughs and
sneezes, avoiding sharing personal items, and staying home when sick.

For more information on Pandemic (H1N1) 2009, please feel free to contact your local RHA Public
Health office during normal office hours. For the most up-to-date information on Pandemic (H1N1)
2009 at any time, please visit www.gnb.ca/flu or call our 24-hour Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 phone line at
1-800-580-0038. A full list of local public health offices is available on the website as well as useful
personal resources such as advice for caring for someone who is sick. The website is updated almost
daily and the phone line provides information, symptom triage, and health advice.

Dr. Eilish Cleary
Chief Medical Officer of Health

				
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