The following is a letter Dr. White emailed parents this afternoon that pro-actively addresses concerns they might have about the possibility of Ebola and Entrovirus D-68 in D181 schools. Thank you to Dr. White for sending this out. The onus, however, will remain on parents to actually keep their sick children home from school, in the event of any illness -- whether it is Entrovirus, Ebola or the common flu. Too often, parents send their children to school with a fever. That needs to stop. It is time to take the district's requests seriously and keep sick children at home.
October 17, 2014
Dear D181 Parents,
Schools are great places for learning and socializing. They are also places where common illnesses such as colds and influenza can spread quickly. As we move into the winter months, students will be inside much more, and opportunities for the spread of these illnesses will increase. There is little that any school can do to completely stop the spread of illnesses, but there are some common practices that can be followed to help mitigate them. District 181 requires students with influenza-like illness to remain at home until they are free of fever without the use of fever-reducing medication. The nurses submit absentee information to the DuPage County Health Department to assist in the data collection for influenza and illness trends. Please let the school know if your child has a temperature of 100º F or greater and a cough and/or sore throat in the absence of a known cause other than influenza.
Recent media reports have included concerns regarding the potential spread of Ebola and Entrovirus D68 (EV-D68). We have no reason to believe that anyone in our area has been diagnosed with Ebola or has been exposed to someone that was diagnosed with Ebola. District 181 has not received any information regarding the spread of EV-D68, but it is very likely that many people within our area have been diagnosed with this illness. According to the Center for Disease Control website (http://www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/ev-d68.html ), symptoms of EV-D68 include mild to severe respiratory illness which may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches. Severe symptoms may include wheezing and difficulty breathing. If your child or anyone in your family exhibits these symptoms, please contact your physician immediately and follow their guidance on when it is safe to allow your child to return to school.
Just like the potential spread of any illness, it is important that we work together to make sure all students, employees,and visitors to our schools remain safe and healthy. If you travel to a country or location where there is an Ebola outbreak or you have concerns that you may have been exposed to Ebola, please contact your physician immediately and follow his/her guidance regarding when to allow your child to return to school.
I ask that all parents stay in touch with your school nurse if you have concerns about your child’s health and that you follow the practice of not allowing your child to return to school until s/he is healthy. In addition, I continue to ask that you contact your school nurse or your family doctor if you have any reason to believe that you or someone else has been exposed to any type of medical condition that could easily spread. By following some common sense practices and communicating with the proper medical professionals, we will all be safe and healthy throughout the coming winter
It is always our goal to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for all students. Your continued support in our efforts are greatly appreciated.
Don White, Ph.D.
I think it's probably premature to worry about Ebola in our schools, but I do agree with the bloggers that parents need to keep their kids home from school when they have a fever. I have four kids and am sick and tired of them getting sick after one or more of their classmates come to school announcing they have a fever but their parents let them go to school. So irresponsible and unfair to all the healthy kids. Follow the 24 hour "fever free" rule please!
I'm glad that Dr White addressed Ebola, as well as the entrovirus. There are members of this community who frequently travel nationally (many people live here for the proximity to O'Hare and Midway) and it's seems only a matter of time before someone is on a plane with someone else who has been exposed to or who has become ill with Ebola. The community should be vigilent. Like our Administration, the CDC can't be trusted to tell the public the truth.
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