H1N1 PANDEMIC FLU INFORMATION The Dodgeville School District is working with the Wisconsin Department of Public Health, the Department of Public Instruction, and Iowa County Health Department to be prepared for flu- related health, safety, and educational issues. Check this page periodically for updated information to remain informed of these and other related matters. H1N1 FLU VACCINATIONS Student vaccinations have been scheduled for November 16th at Dodgeville High School in the morning and Dodgeville Middle School in the afternoon. We are working with the health department to provide immunization clinics on either an evening or a Saturday for elementary students so that parents may be with their child at that time. A date will be announced when confirmed. OCTOBER 21, 2009 Dear Parents, This letter will give you information about a flu (influenza) outbreak in our area. Every year, some people get sick with the flu during the fall and winter months. This year, there is a new flu virus, H1N1, that is making many people in Iowa County sick. We have reason to believe it is affecting students in our District. Health officials call it a pandemic flu. The number of absentees in the Dodgeville School District related to flu like symptoms is high at this time. The Iowa County Health Department tells us that students who are not ill may come to school. At this time, our schools remain open. Updates with any information can be found at the District’s web site: http://www.dsd.k12.wi.us To keep the flu from spreading to more people, we ask you to keep sick children home. Any children who are sick in school will be sent home. Parents/guardians must pick up their sick child. Your child may return to school if he/she has been without fever for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication. Public health official want you to protect yourself and your family against H1N1 and the seasonal flu. Here are some ways to stop the spread of germs and sickness: √ Keep children who are sick at home. Do not send them to school. √ If some of the people in your home are sick with the flu, keep them away from the people who are healthy. √ If some of the people in your home are sick with the flu and you cannot see a health provider, some thing you can do to help: • Have them drink plenty of liquids (juice, water) • Keep the ill person as comfortable as possible. Rest is important. • Use fever-reducing medicines, as appropriate. Do not use aspirin with children or teenagers; it can cause Reye’s syndrome, a life-threatening illness. • Keep tissues and a trash bag within reach of the sick person. • Be sure everyone in your home washes their hands frequently. • Contact a healthcare provider for further advice. If the ill person is having difficulty breathing or is getting worse, contact the healthcare provider immediately. If you have questions, please contact healthcare provider or call the Iowa County Health Department at 935-2810. OCTOBER 9, 2009 Dear Parents, We are concerned because students are coming to school with flu like symptoms. The following guidelines are to help you make a decision regarding your child’s attendance. If you have any questions or concerns, please call me at 935-3307. Nurse Kari If Your Child is Not Feeling Well If your child is not feeling well………. ● Watch carefully for signs and symptoms of flu. Some children may not be able to tell you about their symptoms, which can delay your response to their illness. Symptoms of flu include fever or chills and cough or sore throat. In addition, symptoms of flu include runny nose, body aches, headache, tiredness, diarrhea, or vomiting. A fever is a temperature measured by mouth with a thermometer that is equal to or greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius). If you are not able to measure a temperature, signs and symptoms that may indicate your child has a fever include chills, feeling very warm to touch, having a flushed appearance, or sweating. ●Watch for emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention. These warning signs include one or more of the following: ○ fast breathing, trouble breathing, shortness of breath, or no longer breathing; ○ bluish, purple, or gray skin color especially around the lips and the inside of the mouth, or around the nails; ○ not drinking enough fluids, refusing to drink; ○ severe or persistent vomiting ○ not waking up or not interacting (e.g., unusually quiet and inactive, no interest in playing, no interest in favorite toy). ○ being so irritable that the child does not want to be held, or cannot be consoled; ○ sudden dizziness ○ 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 at least 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’s syndrome. ● Make sure your child gets plenty of rest and drinks clear fluids (such as water, broth, sports drink) to prevent dehydration. To protect other family members……….. ● Make sure your child’s hands are washed often, and especially after coughing or sneezing. Help your younger child wash them for 20 seconds with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, you can use an alcohol-based hand cleaner. ● Have your child cough and sneeze into a tissue or into his or her elbow or should it a tissue is not available. Make sure your child throw tissues away right after use. ● Clean surfaces and objects that your child frequently touches with his or her hands, mouth, or body fluids. Wipe those surfaces with a household cleaner disinfectant that is usually used, following the directions on the product label. ● Keep your sick child in a separate room (a sick room) in the house as much as possible to limit contact with household members who are not sick. Consider designating a single person as the main caregiver for the sick child. ● Get your family vaccinated for seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 flu according to CDC recommendations when vaccines become available. If you have questions please contact your medical care provider or the Iowa County Health Department at 935-2810. SEPTEMBER 25, 2009 Iowa County Health Department 207 West Parry St. Dodgeville, WI 53533 FACTS FOR FAMILIES OF SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN ABOUT THE H1N1 (SWINE FLU) INFLUENZA What is H1N1? The H1N1 virus, is a virus that can be spread from people who are infected to others through cough and sneezes. When people cough and sneeze, they spread germs through the air or onto surfaces that other people may touch. People with the H1N1 are able to spread the infection to others for approximately 7 days after becoming sick. The H1N1 (Swine Flu) virus is not transmitted from pigs to humans or from eating pork products. What should we do if someone in my family has symptoms of the H1N1 (Swine Flu)? 1. Any student with symptoms of the H1N1 (Swine Flu) which is defined as two or more of the following symptoms: fever over 100°, cough, sore throat, and/or runny nose – may not attend school until 24 hours after all symptoms have disappeared, even if that takes longer than 7 days. 2. Parents/guardians should check their school-aged children every morning for influenza-like illness. 3. Students who have the above symptoms should stay home from school for the above listed time. This includes not participating in extra-curricular activities including sports, other school events, birthday parties, scout meetings, church attendance, Bible school, etc. 4. Students who have the above symptoms should not attend other alternative school settings for the above listed time. 5. Students who become ill with the above symptoms during the school day are expected to go home as quickly as possible and to stay home for the above listed time. Students should not go home via school or County buses. 6. CALL your child’s doctor for possible testing and treatment. DO NOT GO TO YOUR DOCTOR’S OFFICE OR EMERGENCY ROOM WITHOUT CALLING FIRST. How do parents/guardians protect their children from infection? Teach children to: • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer • Cover your cough or sneeze with your upper sleeve. If you use a tissue, throw it away & wash your hands. • Use your own drinking cups & straws. • Avoid being exposed to people who are sick with flu-like symptoms • Stay home when you are sick. • Eat nutritious meals, get plenty of rest & do not smoke. • Clean commonly touched surfaces (door knobs, telephone, faucets, etc) often. AUGUST 26, 2009 Dear Parents, Many of us are hearing information regarding the infection with novel influenza A (H1N1)/2009 that is occurring in the United States, Mexico, and other parts of the world. State and local officials, led by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Wisconsin Department of Public Health Services (DHS), have been monitoring the situation very closely Novel influenza A (H1N1)/2009 is a new virus that has not been identified previously in people, and viral person-to-person transmission appears to be occurring. H1N1 flu is thought to be spread via person-to- person contact through contaminated droplets from coughing and sneezing from an infected person. The virus is NOT spread by food including pork products. Eating properly cooked and handled pork products is safe. The symptoms of novel influenza A (H1N1)/2009 are similar to the regular seasonal influenza and include fever, body aches, coughing and sore throat. Some people with novel influenza A (H1N1)/2009 have reported additional symptoms such as runny nose, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In some situations, the virus can develop into pneumonia. Adults and children should take these precautions to reduce the spread of illness, i.e. H1N1 flu: Cover all coughs and sneezes with a tissue and dispose of all tissues in waste containers. Cough or sneeze into your shirtsleeve if a tissue is not available. Always wash your hands after coughing or sneezing. Wash hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol based hand cleaner, especially after coughing, sneezing, and blowing one’s nose. Avoid touching of nose, mouth, and eyes, to reduce the spread of germs. DO NOT share eating utensils, water bottles, beverage containers or other personal items. Contact with these items can expose people to viruses that exist on their surfaces. Avoid close contact (6 feet or less) with sick people. STAY HOME from work and KEEP YOUR CHILDREN HOME from school if you/they become ill. Remain at home for at least 24 hours after there is no longer a fever, or signs of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medicines. Stay home even if you are using antiviral drugs. Contact your health care provider as soon as possible for further follow-up if you or your children become ill with the symptoms described above and/or if you have traveled to areas where there are cases of H1N1 flu or if you have further questions. Under federal advisement we are approaching all flu-like illnesses as we always do by using the basic health and safety procedures named above. In addition, we will work with the Iowa County Health Department in an immunization program for those families who wish to participate when vaccine becomes available. More information on this will be available at a later date. Should the incidence of H1N1 flu become prevalent in our area, we will proceed to higher precautionary levels as warranted and recommended via our local, state, and federal public health agencies. We will keep you informed on this website and via letters home with your children. Sincerely, Diane Messer District Administrator PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES USED IN THE SCHOOLS: Students are taught cough and sneeze etiquette, which now teaches the use of a shirtsleeve if tissues are unavailable. This is a change for many adults, but it reduces infectious agents on the hands. Teachers have incorporated more hand washing and hand sanitizing into the daily routines. Hand sanitizers have been placed in commonly/frequently used areas such as cafeterias, libraries, and computer labs. The custodial staff cleans the rooms nightly, and will sanitize the desk tops. Ill students are sent home to protect their health and the health of others in the school setting. This year school staff is asked to be more vigilant in remaining home themselves when ill and in sending home students who are ill. These actions protect all individuals in the school environment. Students who return to school with a fever will be sent back home. Please inform the school office if your emergency contact changes during the year. Also, since symptoms may last up to 5-7 days, please prepare your action plan now regarding who will care for you child in a multiple days-at-home situation.