SOUTHWESTERN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CLOSED 1/18/19 DUE TO FLU LIKE SYMPTOMS

Thursday, January 17th, 2019 11:59am

By Tammy Monroe, Administrator, Jefferson County Health Department

Over a 20% absenteeism rate

Southwestern Elementary School has been experiencing over a 20% absenteeism rate due to flu like symptoms and gastroenteritis like illnesses. This has only affected the Southwestern Elementary School at this time. Mr. Bates, school superintendent, has decided to close the elementary school Friday, January 18, 2019, with support from the Jefferson County Health Department. During this closure the school custodians will be cleaning and sanitizing the entire school.

Please do not send your children to school if they are experiencing flu like symptoms, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. Anyone experiencing flu like symptoms should not attend school, work, or social gatherings until symptom free for 24 hours, specifically without fever for 24 hours without fever reducing medications. Anyone experiencing vomiting and/or diarrhea should not attend school, work, or social gatherings until 24 hours symptom free.

What are the symptom of influenza?

Fever

Chills

Headache

Cough

Sore throat

Muscle aches

Diarrhea and nausea occasionally in children

How is influenza spread?

Flu is spread from close contact with persons who are sick with flu or from touching surfaces or objects that have flu virus on them. Infection can occur when flu viruses contact the eyes, mouth, or nose, and through breathing in droplets from a sneeze or cough. People may be able to spread the virus to others about one day before they show symptoms and up to seven days after becoming sick. That means that you may be able to spread the flu to someone else before you even know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.

How is influenza prevented?

The best way not to get flu is to get a flu shot every year before the flu season starts. Since flu viruses change over time, it is important to get a shot each year.

Good respiratory hygiene is important to prevent the spread of ALL respiratory infections, including the flu:

• Use your elbow or upper arm, instead of your hands, or a tissue to cover your mouth and nose or when you cough or sneeze.

• Immediately throw used tissues into the trash can.

• Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Many diseases often spread this way.

• To clean your hands after coughing or sneezing, wash with soap and water, or clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner if water is not available.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• If you get flu, stay home from work, school, and social gatherings. This will help others from catching your illness and gives your body the rest it needs to get better.

The Jefferson County Health Department, 715 Green Road, Madison, IN 47250 has limited flu vaccine available. Please contact our office at 812 273-1942. Local pharmacies and local health care providers may also have flu vaccine available. Please contact your preferred provider with vaccine availability questions.

What are the symptoms of Gastroenteritis?

Watery diarrhea

Fever

Vomiting

Headache

Nausea

Muscle aches

Cramps

Tiredness

Symptoms usually begin 24-48 hours after exposure and last 24 – 48 hours. The illness can last longer in the elderly or in those with weakened immune systems.

How is Gastroenteritis spread?

Gastroenteritis is passed in the stool and vomit and people become ill by ingesting the stool or vomit from and infected person. The virus is easily spread by contaminated food or beverages, from person to person, and by contact with surfaces or objects with the virus on them. These viruses can remain infectious on surfaces for up to 72 hours, and only a very small amount of virus is needed to cause illness.

How is Gastroenteritis prevented?

• WASH YOUR HANDS! Use soap and water after using the restroom; after changing diapers; after helping someone with diarrhea and/or vomiting; after swimming; and before, during and after food preparation

. • Clean and Disinfect. Clean and disinfect any contaminated surfaces with a 10% bleach solution

. • Wash contaminated laundry thoroughly

• Do not prepare food or provide health care for others

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