Information about Swine Flu
With the recent coverage of Swine Flu in our local media, we felt it was important to share with our families the pertinent information from the Center for Disease Control “CDC” regarding this Type A Influenza Virus (H1N1). This memorandum is informational and does not preclude the need to seek the advice of your family physician if a family member becomes ill. We do not currently have any reported cases of this virus within our district or local area.
The letter provides information for this virus, signs and symptoms, advice on how to protect against the virus, and what to do if a family suspects that a member may have some of the warning signs. There is currently no vaccine available to protect against swine flu. Recommended steps to protect against an exposure include:
- Covering the nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. The tissue should always be thrown away after use.
- Hands should be washed often with soap and water, especially after coughing and sneezing.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouths as germs spread this way.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you or a family member becomes ill, the CDC recommends that the sick person stays home from work or school and limits contact with others to keep from infecting others.
If a family member becomes ill and experiences any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care. Warning signs may include:
- Fast breathing or trouble breathing,
- Bluish skin color,
- Not drinking enough fluids,
- Not waking up or interacting,
- Being so irritable that a child does not want to be held,
- Flu like symptoms with a fever and bad cough,
- Fever with a rash,
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen,
- Confusion, and
- Vomiting or diarrhea.
For further information visit the CDC web site at http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu. As always, the health and safety of our families is first and foremost in our learning community.
Patricia A. Wernet
|Superintendent||Director of Student Services|
The US Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, has determined that the swine influenza A (HIN1), or swine flu, has become a public health concern. The CDC recently issued an alert due to documented cases that have occurred in this country. This strain of influenza is a concern due to a lack of immunity in the human population.
Facts about Swine Flu
Influenza, better known as the flu, is a common respiratory illness. Symptoms appear 24 to 48 hours after exposure to the virus. The swine flu virus can be spread 1 day before and for approximately 7 days during symptoms. Symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of a typical seasonal flu and include: fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, and coughing. Some people with the swine flu have reported a sore throat, sinus congestion, and vomiting and diarrhea.
Transmission between humans is believed to occur in the same manner as seasonal flu and cold viruses. This mode of transmission can be person-to-person, through inhaling infected droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze or by touching a surface contaminated with flu viruses and then touching the mouth, nose, or eyes.
Preventing the spread of swine flu is no different than preventing the spread of seasonal flu and involves the following basic hygiene measures:
- Wash you hands more frequently. Soap and water is always preferred, but alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing over 60% rubbing alcohol is also effective. Hand washing is the most important preventive measure.
- Keep your hands away from your nose, eyes, and mouth.
- Try to refrain from sneezing or coughing into your bare hands. Instead, cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of the elbow or upper arm. Sneezing or coughing into the hands is preferable, however, to not covering the mouth at all. Make sure to wash your hands well if sneezing or coughing into them.
- Try to stay in good general health. Get adequate sleep and exercise, drink appropriate amounts of fluids, and eat nutritious foods.
- If you are sick, especially with a fever/persistent cough, stay home to avoid contact with other people as much as possible.
The swine flu is susceptible to treatment from two antiviral medications, Tamiflu and Relenza, which can make the illness less severe and speed recovery. These are most effective if given within two days of a patient exhibiting flu symptoms.
If you would like further information on swine flu symptoms, prevention, and treatment, visit the CDC web site at http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu Information on preventing swine flu is available in Spanish at http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/espanol/swine_espanol.htm.