A message from HENRY BARNARD SCHOOL
Hello HBS Families,
I am writing to inform you and assure you that the leadership at Henry Barnard School is aware of the importance of keeping you informed with regards to guidance for preventing the spread of illness. The RI Department of Health has provided information regarding the Enterovirus D68. I have included that information in the body of this message for your reference. I also want to inform you of the steps and precautions we are taking to prevent the spread of illness here at HBS. Nurse Blessing will be providing guidance to students and teachers about proper hand-washing, coughing etiquette (coughing into sleeve), and the importance of not sharing bottles. We recommend that students bring their own water bottle to school. (e.g., more hand washing, coughing into sleeve, no shared bottles etc.). In addition, our day custodian will be ensuring soap dispensers are full in all bathrooms at all times, and she will be sanitizing door handles on classroom doors during both the morning and afternoon sessions of the day. We have also placed signs in the bathrooms reminding students to wash their hands.
Finally, I would like to remind parents that if your child is sick with a cold or other symptoms such as fever, they must remain home until they are well enough to return to school, Your child must be excluded from school if her/she:
- Is actively vomiting
- Has a temperature of 100 degrees F or greater
- Has an unexplained rash
- Has frequent diarrhea
- Has severe, persistent pain anywhere
- Has severe cold symptoms
- Is suspected of having a specific condition requiring exclusion (i.e. strep throat, conjunctivitis, chicken pox). See Rhode Island School Nurse TeachersInfectious Disease Reference Manual for guidelines on specific conditions.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org or 401-456-8623)or HBS school nurse teacher Ms. Blessing. I have included her contact information at the bottom of the information below.
Jeannine K. Magliocco
Henry Barnard School
Information About Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) for Parents
Since August of 2014, there has been a nationwide outbreak of respiratory illness caused by Enterovirus D-68 (EV-D68), mostly affecting children. EV-D68 appears to be the most common type of enterovirus this year and this virus may be involved in many cases of severe respiratory illnesses being seen throughout the U.S. EV-D68 is currently circulating in Rhode Island.
Enteroviruses are very common viruses and there are more than 100 known types. More than 10 million enterovirus infections occur in the United States each year, mostly in the summer and fall. EV-D68 infections, like other enterovirus strains, generally cause mild respiratory illness (for example, fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, minor aches and pains). Some individuals experience serious illness (including but not limited to difficulty breathing or wheezing), especially children with underlying illnesses and asthma. Most children recover from EV-D68 completely; however, serious complications may occur on rare occasions.
How It Spreads
EV-D68 is found in respiratory droplets and illness spreads from person to person when an ill person coughs, sneezes, or touches a contaminated surface. There is no vaccine to prevent EV-D68 infections and there is no medication to treat EV-D68 infections.
The best way to protect yourself and your family from EV-D68 and other respiratory illnesses (like the flu, for example) is to practice the following simple steps:
· Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
· Cover your cough or sneeze. Cough into your elbow, not hands.
· Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
· Avoid close contact, kissing, hugging, sharing cups, food, or eating utensils with people who are sick, or when you are sick.
· Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs and keyboards.
· Stay home if you are sick.
· Get a flu vaccine.
For more information, please see the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) website (www.health.ri.gov/diseases/