Red Bulletin Alert – H1N1 / Atlanta Public Schools

Red Alert Bulletin

 

Novel H1N1 Influenza (Swine Flu) Update

 

ATLANTA PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Health Services

 

August 19, 2009

Novel H1N1 Influenza (Swine Flu) Update

As projected, communities are experiencing a significant increase in H1N1 cases both nationally and locally as the virus continues to spread and as we approach this year’s regular flu season. A few cases have been reported by parents and staff across our school district. H1N1 has been shown to affect more school-aged children disproportionately. So it is important to remain mindful of general health prevention practices, internal surveillance efforts, and other interventions to help keep our children and community healthy.

 

According to health officials, Novel Influenza A (H1N1) will be treated like any other seasonal flu; therefore, reporting of individual cases to county health department officials is not required and it is not necessary to send out mass notification for each and every case.

The Atlanta Public Schools Health Services Office will continue collaborations with the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness and the Dekalb County Board of Health to track and monitor clusters of illness ¡Ý 10% at any site; and to educate schools on ways to reduce disease transmission. Remember, there is no need to close schools unless there are not enough students and staff to effectively engage the educational process.

Our focus will continue to be on prevention and close surveillance of flu-related illnesses in schools. Students should be encouraged to continue to practice good hygiene (i.e., hand washing (soap and paper towels should be available in all restrooms), covering coughs with tissue or coughing into the elbow area (not hands), disinfecting commonly shared surfaces; and we should continue to observe students/staff for signs and symptoms of flu-like illness (including strict adherence to exclusion policies for students and staff with flu-like symptoms).

Exclusion Guidelines (Students and Staff)

Send home students or staff exhibiting flu-like symptoms for immediate medical attention/treatment;

Stay home if you are exhibiting signs and symptoms of the flu (see below); and

Remain home for at least 24 hours after there is no fever, without taking fever-reducing drugs.

 

The CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services are still in the clinical trial phase of developing a Novel H1N1 vaccine and it may be ready for the public in the fall. When a vaccine becomes available, the Atlanta Public Schools Health Services Office will work aggressively to disseminate information as soon as possible.

Do You Have the Flu?

Novel H1N1 infection has been reported to cause a wide range of flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. In addition, many people also have reported nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Please visit the CDC website for more information:

http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/

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