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H1N1 Information

Click on our link to the North Central District
Health Department
(NCDHD) for more health information.
http://www.ncdhd.ne.gov/

 


North Central District Health Department

Contact:  Peggy Hart, Disease Surveillance Coordinator, peggy@ncdhd.ne.gov   or Concey Ramold, Emergency Response Coordinator, concey@ncdhd.ne.gov , 402-336-2406


To:Parents
Memo:  New H1N1 Information

During this time when several people are becoming ill, it is important to remember not to go to your local emergency departments for influenza symptoms unless it is an actual emergency.  It does not take many patients in our local emergency departments to overwhelm them and use valuable resources.  If you are suffering from mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever, cough and sore throat, contact your local health care provider to determine if you need further medical attention or anti-virals.  If you are having severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing you should seek medical attention right away or call 911.  By contacting your local health care provider, you may save yourself a costly trip to the emergency department.

2009 H1N1 influenza virus was first identified in the United States in late April 2009.  The virus has caused illness ranging from mild to severe, including hospitalizations and deaths in adults and children. Many children have gotten 2009 H1N1 infection and there have been outbreaks in some schools throughout our district. We are also seeing an increase in the number of people hospitalized due to complications from H1N1 virus.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended that children and young adults aged 6 months through 24 years be vaccinated against 2009 H1N1 as soon as the vaccine is available.  Other groups recommended to get the first available doses of the vaccine include: 

  • Pregnant women
  • People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age
  • Health care and emergency medical services workers, and
  • People ages 25 through 64 years who have certain health conditions such as HIV, diabetes, or heart or lung disease.

Please call our office at 877-336-2406 or your health care provider if you have any questions.

Thanks,

 

Peggy Hart RN, BSN
Disease Surveillance Coordinator

North Central District Health Department
Proudly Serving the Counties of: Antelope, Boyd, Brown, Cherry, Holt, Keya Paha, Knox, Pierce and Rock

Important Health Alert:
September 28, 2009

Dear Parents/Guardians:

As you have been hearing, a new influenza virus, called the 2009 H1N1 Influenza virus, was first identified in the United States in late April 2009. The virus has caused illness ranging from mild to severe, including hospitalizations and deaths in young and middle-aged adults and children. Many children have gotten 2009 H1N1 infection and there have been large outbreaks in some schools across the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended that children and young adults aged 6 months through 24 years be vaccinated against 2009 H1N1 as soon as the vaccine is available. Other groups recommended to get the first available doses of the vaccine include:

•Pregnant women

•People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age

•Health care and emergency services workers, and

•People ages 25 through 64 years who have certain health conditions such as HIV, diabetes, or heart or lung disease.

Vaccination is the best way to protect your child from this potentially serious disease. North Central District Health Department is working with your child's school to give the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine to children at school. We are planning to hold vaccination clinics beginning this fall, and your child's school will let you know the specific dates once vaccine is on hand. School staff will continue to send you more information about the disease and the vaccine. They will also send home a form that will include options allowing you to either accept or refuse the vaccination for your child. If you refuse, the vaccination will not be given to your child.

At this time, as currently recommended by the CDC, children between the ages of 6 months through 9 years of age will need two doses of the vaccine about 3 weeks apart. Children 10 years and older will only need one dose of the vaccine. If the children receive their vaccination at the school, there will be no cost to you for the vaccine.

If you have any questions about the vaccine or the vaccination clinics, please call Concey or Peggy toll-free at 1-877-336-2406 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. You can also visit www.ncdhd.ne.gov, www.flu.gov, or the CDC's 2009 H1N1 influenza web site at www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/ . Your child's health care provider can also answer questions about the H1N1 virus and will have seasonal influenza vaccine available.

Sincerely,
 

Peggy Hart RN, BSN, Disease Surveillance Coordinator
Concey Ramold, RN, Emergency Response Coordinator
422 East Douglas Street | O'Neill, Nebraska 68763 | Phone: 402.336.2406 | Toll Free: 877.336.2406 | Fax: 402.336.1768
Web site: www.ncdhd.ne.gov

H1N1 Flu
K-12 Schools and School Districts

Information for School and District Administration

Prevention and Spread of the Flu

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly
  • Flu viruses can survive 2 hours or longer on surfaces
  • Remind your students frequently to "cover" when they cough or sneeze
  • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s website ( www.cdc.gov ) has a Flu Prevention Podcast that schools can show to their students:  

"All you have to do is wash your hands."

Symptoms :  
H1N1 Flu symptoms usually develop 3-5 days after exposure to the virus.
Symptoms continue for approximately 7-8 days from first sign of illness.

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Body aches
  • Headaches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Immediate arrangements should be made to send anyone who becomes ill home at the first signs of the H1N1 or other Flu symptoms.  Keep them isolated until they can be sent home.  Anyone who becomes ill with H1N1 Flu is contagious for 24hrs before symptoms appear and remain contagious until the fever subsides, or approximately 7-8 days from the first development of the symptoms.  Those who have been ill should remain at home an additional 24hrs after the fever subsides.

To  close, or not to close, schools :  
See "Flu school closing: Any benefit? What's the benefit of school closing when there's a flu outbreak?"   A short report prepared by the Mayo Clinic Staff to help School and District Administrations determine when, and if, it is appropriate to dismiss schools during a H1N1 Flu outbreak.  A printable copy, or multiple copies, of this article can be accessed at http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/school-closing/AN02001

Toolkit :  

The CDC has prepared a Toolkit - "Preparing for the Flu: A Communication Toolkit for Schools (Grades K-12)"   that provides basic information and communication resources to help School Administrators implement recommendations from the CDC's "Guidance for State and Local Public Health Officials and School Administrators for School (K-12) Responses to Influenza during the 2009-2010 School Year." www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/schools/toolkit/ .

The Toolkit includes links to:

  • Q & A's
  • Fact Sheets to Inform Schools and Teachers
  • Fact Sheets to Inform Parents
  • Information on Where to Find Posters for Schools about Flu Prevention
  • Template Letters/Emails for Schools to Send to Parents

Additional information on H1N1 Flu and guidance for Schools Administrators can be found on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s website at www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/schools or at www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/schools/schoolguidance.htm

Questions to Consider:  

  • What is the best course of action for flu prevention for our school district?
  • Who are the right decision-makers and stakeholders?
  • How does the school district keep parents and the community informed?
  • What information should/can be collected and shared?
  • Does the school district have resources to implement the course of action?
  • What is the process if schools need to be dismissed?
  • What is the best course of action after dismissed schools return to normal?

For complete in-depth information available to assist School Administrators cope with a severe outbreak of the H1N1 Flu in their schools, administrative staff should also review the technical report prepared by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention: 

"Technical Report for State and Local Public Health Officials and School Administrators on CDC Guidance for School (K-12) Responses to Influenza during the 2009-2010 School Year"

This CDC Report provides guidance  to School Districts to help decrease the spread of H1N1 Flu during the 2009-2010 School Year.  It recommends actions based on the most current flu information for their region of the country.  It suggests strategies to be considered if the H1N1 flu is causing more severe symptoms than were previously recorded during the spring 2009 outbreak.  The Report also provides a Checklist to help your School Administrators make informed decisions at the local level. www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/schools/technicalreport.htm

In order for your School Administration to remain current on the progression of the H1N1 Flu in your state or region, go to the CDC newsletter titled "Flu View" at www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly for the latest updates.  This report includes a U.S. map updated regularly with information on reported cases with H1N1 Flu activity listed by individual state.

School Dismissal Monitoring System :
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U. S. Department of Education have established a School Dismissal Monitoring System to report H1N1 Flu-related school or school district dismissals in the United States.  The CDC have requested all school dismissals related to the H1N1 Flu be reported by using a special Dismissal Form available online.  The form can be completed quickly online, or downloaded and submitted by email or fax to the CDC School Dismissal Monitoring System.  Report K-12 School Dismissals  

H1N1 Flu
K-12 Schools and School Districts

Resources for School and District Administration

Resources

Where to find reliable up-to-date information on the Swine / H1N1 Flu 

1.  Mayo Clinic - H1N1 Flu
www.mayoclinic.com/health/swine-flu/

"Flu school closing: Any benefit? What's the benefit of school closing when there's a flu outbreak?"   Mayo Clinic Staff
www.mayoclinic.com/health/school-closing

A printable copy of this article can be accessed at:
www.mayoclinic.com/health/school-closing/AN02001

2.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
www.cdc.gov/flu/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Seasonal Flu
www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Swine Influenza (Flu)
www.cdc.gov/swineflu/


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: K-12 Dismissal Form
www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/K12_dismissal.htm

Additional reports are available from CDC.  Links are located on the website. 
www.cdc.gov

"Technical Report for State and Local Public Health Officials and School Administrators on CDC Guidance for School (K-12) Responses to Influenza during the 2009-2010 School Year"

" Update on School (K - 12) and Childcare Facilities: Interim CDC Guidance in Response to Human Infections with the Novel Influenza A (H1N1) Virus  

3.  World Health Organization (WHO)
www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/faq/en/index.html
www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2009/h1n1_pandemic...
www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/frequently_asked_question...


What does pandemic mean, and how severe?
Statement explaining swine flu pandemic
Swine influenza frequently asked questions

4.  National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
www3.niaid.nih.gov/healthscience/healthtopics/Flu/default....

5.  American Lung Association: Flu Clinic Locator
http://flucliniclocator.org/


6. PandemicFlu.gov
www.pandemicflu.gov


 

H1N1 Flu

K-12 Schools and School Districts

Information for School Website 

Q & A's

1.  How many confirmed cases of the H1Ni Flu are in the (school)/ (district)?
0/0 

2.  How long does my child have to stay out of school?
Students should be kept at home an additional 24hrs after symptoms and fever have subsided.

3.  How long does it take for symptoms to develop?  What are the symptoms of Swine/H1N1 Flu that I should watch for in my child?
Symptoms usually develop 3-5 days after exposure to the flu virus.  Symptoms will continue for approximately 8 days.  Fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills, fatigue, diarrhea, and vomiting are the primary symptoms of the H1N1 Flu.  See your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms, especially after travel and exposure.

4.  If my child comes home ill from school, how do I prevent other members of my family from contracting the H1N1 Flu?
If students become ill, keep them home.  Wash hands frequently and thoroughly.  Flu virus can survive 2hrs or longer on surfaces.  Avoid crowds.  To reduce exposure within a family designate one person to care for the one that is sick.  A person who becomes ill with H1N1 Flu is contagious from 24hrs before symptoms develop and until all symptoms subside - approximately 7-8 days.

5.  What are the treatments / home remedies for caring for a child with the H1N1 Flu virus?
See your doctor immediately if your child develops symptoms, especially after travel and exposure. Children should be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids, get plenty of rest / sleep, take pain relievers upon advice of their personal physician (such as Tylenol or Advil).  Do not give children aspirin.

6.  If my child becomes ill during the school day how will he/she be cared for until they can be sent home?  Does the school have resources to care for multiple ill students?
School officials will isolate all ill students in the Health Center until they can be retrieved by a parent or authorized person.  Every effort will be made to make them as comfortable as possible until they can go home.  Each school within the District has a designated Health professional who is available to see that ill students are isolated and cared for until they can be picked up.

7.  Will schools be dismissed because of confirmed cases of the H1N1 Flu?  What is the official process for dismissing school?  How will parents be informed?
If the District determines it is necessary to close one or more schools, flyers will be sent home with the students.  All dismissal information will also be placed on the school and district websites [www. schooldistrict.org] where parents can keep up-to-date with the latest information on dismissals and school re-openings.  In addition, the media will be informed of all school closings.

8.  If the schools are closed, how will we know when they are scheduled to re-open?  How will parents & the community be kept informed?
All information concerning closing and re-opening of schools will be kept current on the district and school websites.

9.  Will homework be sent home with my ill child, if school is dismissed?
Whether school work will be sent home or not will be determined by School and District Administrators based on the extent and length of the school closures.

10. If school is dismissed for an extended period of time, what are the plans for students to "make-up" missed schoolwork and assure educational progress for the school year? Is there a course of action planned?
The School District does not anticipate school closures.  If, in the unfortunate circumstances that dismissals become necessary because of the H1N1 Flu, school administrators, along with state education department authorities will determine the best course of action to assure that our students are not missing essential elements for their educational progress for the 2009/2010 School Year.


11. What information is being collected and shared on our children in relation to the H1N1 Flu Pandemic?
Decision-makers and stakeholders, such as school district officials, state and local health officials, state education officials, health care providers, teachers, parents, community businesses and organizations are working together to assure that a course of action is being put in place that will result in the best health strategy for our students and staff.  The District already has privacy requirements in place.  All data that is collected on district students and employees who have been affected by the H1N1 Flu virus is collected and shared as a group and not on an individual basis.  This information is only shared with local and state authorities and health officials with a need to know and with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, as requested.