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A Message from the Superintendent
As flu season approaches and other infectious diseases cause concern this time of year, I would like to remind parents to watch for symptoms
and teach their children the best ways to prevent the spread of infection. While the district does not encourage absenteeism, it is important to keep children home from school if they are ill, and I care about the health and well-being of every student.
Here is more information about a few infectious diseases causing conerns right now:
*Every year, millions of children in the United States catch enteroviruses that can cause coughing, sneezing and fever. This year, the enterovirus that is most commonly causing respiratory illness in children across the country is enterovirus-D68 (EV-D68).
*Pontiac Schools' staff will monitor mild symptoms such as fever, runny nose, sneezing, coughing and body and muscle aches. Please do not send your child to school if he or she shows any of the above symptoms. Severe symptoms may include wheezing and difficulty breathing.
*Call your child's doctor if he or she is having difficulty breathing; if you feel you are unable to control symptoms; or if symptoms are getting worse. If your child develops severe illness, he or she may need to be hospitalized.
*Ebola is a rare and severe disease caused by infection from the Ebola virus. While this year's outbreak is prevalent in Africa, only a few cases have been reported in the United States.
*Symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is eight to 10 days. Signs and symptoms of illness from Ebola typically include fever, severe headache, diarrhea, stomach pain, vomiting or unexplained bleeding or bruising.
*Infection can be spread by directly touching blood or body fluids (including feces, saliva, urine or vomit) of a person who is sick with Ebola or by directly touching objects (like needles) that have been contaminated with blood or body fluids from a person who has Ebola or infected animals.
*A person infected with Ebola is not contagious until symptoms appear. Currently, there are no specific vaccines or medicines that can prevent or treat against Ebola.
*To protect yourself, always wash your hands with soap and water. Cook food properly, and consider visiting a health facility when you have a headache, fever, pain, diarrhea, red eyes and vomiting.
*Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is an extremely contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses. The flu virus, which appears most frequently in winter and early spring, attacks the body by spreading through the upper and/or lower respiratory tract.
*Flu symptoms include a high fever for several days along with body aches, fatigue and weakness.
*The flu virus is spread through respiratory droplets passed through direct bodily contact or touching something with the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
*To protect yourself from the flu, the flu vaccine is recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older and is especially important for children with asthma.
To help stop the spread of germs and prevent any respiratory illnesses such as the flu, enterovirus or Ebola, wash hands often with soap and water and practice good health habits. For more information on Ebola, click here for the web link: http://www.oakgov.com/health/Pages/Ebola-Virus-Disease.aspx.