COMMUNICABLE DISEASE CONTROL
Information and resources available to help guard against the spread of the flu
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts that will be a particularly heavy flu season. The number of flu cases typically peaks In January and February.
Recently, CDC issued a health advisory saying that the vaccine developed for 2014-2015 is less effective than usual; however, CDC encourages everyone, especially school personnel, to still get vaccinated because children are among the most vulnerable to the disease.
Complete information about the flu and how to contain and manage it is available at www.flu.gov and www.cdc.gov/flu. Additionally, district and school leaders, teachers, students, and others are reminded to:
- Wash hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth;
- Avoid close contact with those who are already sick;
- Get plenty of sleep;
- Eat healthy food and drink plenty of fluids;
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or the crook of your arm; and
- Stay home if ill for at least 24 hours after fever is gone.
The Readiness Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance (TA) Center also has useful resources and information for addressing infectious disease planning for use in developing a comprehensive emergency operations plan (EOP). Districts and schools may want to review their EOPs with public health authorities, as well as plan for continuity of teaching and learning during a school dismissal, in preparation for the height of the flu season or other infectious disease outbreak. As with all health-related instances, districts and schools should maintain the privacy and identity of individual students and teachers in conformity with applicable privacy laws.