School Health Information

 
 
 
 
 
Parents/Guardians:

As you know, recent reports from across Pennsylvania and nearly all states throughout the country have indicated an increase in children with a severe respiratory illness caused by Enterovirus D68, more commonly known as EV-D68. There are no reported cases of EV-D68 in our district.

EV-D68 is one of the causes of common cold. Most cases resolve themselves in about a week, but in some children, symptoms suddenly develop into a severe respiratory illness that leaves a child struggling to breathe.

Mild infection can cause fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, body and muscle aches, and severe infection can cause wheezing and difficulty breathing. Infants, children, especially those with asthma, and teens are generally more susceptible to enteroviruses like EV-D68 because they don't have immunity from previous exposures, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The virus likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes or touches a surface that is later touched by an uninfected person. The best defense is to wash your hands and take standard precautions as there is no vaccine or specific treatment to combat EV-D68.

Be assured, we are working hard to keep students and staff as healthy as possible with extra cleanings of common areas including bathrooms, classroom surfaces and cafeteria tables.

However, we also are requesting your assistance in our efforts. Here are a few ways to reduce your family's risk of contracting the virus as well as other illnesses that affect us this time of year:

  • Encourage family members to frequently wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or the length of the tune of "Happy Birthday" two times.
  • If you sneeze or cough, do so into your elbow, upper arm or a tissue and turn away from others around you.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are regularly used by different people in your household such as toys or door knobs.
  • Avoid kissing, hugging and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.

The best way to prevent the spread of EV-D68 is for parents to keep their students home when they exhibit any of the symptoms of the virus and keep them home until they are symptom-free. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the nurses at any of our schools.

East Allegheny School District