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Flu Season and H1N1

January 07, 2014

As flu season is now officially upon us, we are aware that there are members of our school communities, students and staff, who are ill with flu-like symptoms. The medical health officer has also advised the public that some cases of H1N1 have been noted throughout the province.

As an ongoing practice, the school district monitors school absentee rates on a daily basis and reports absences in any school or classroom of 10 percent or higher due to illness to the local medical health officer. So far, our absence numbers are not out of the typical range at this time of year.

The following information is being sent to ensure that School District 72 parents, students, and staff are up-to-date on influenza and aware of proactive measures that they can take to try to minimize the spread of the virus.

If students and staff are exhibiting influenza symptoms, we encourage them to stay home. Should a student start exhibiting symptoms during the course of the school day, we request that parents’ pick-up their child and seek medical treatment.

The medical community is also encouraging everyone, but particularly those with compromised immune systems, to get a flu shot. This year’s flu shot includes an updated H1N1 vaccine.

Here are some other simple precautions we can all take to further safeguard our health:

  • Stay home when you are sick or have influenza symptoms.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Practice other good health habits: get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage stress, eat nutritious foods, and drink plenty of fluids.

Attention is always given to cleaning all hard surfaces in the schools, such as counters, desks, doorknobs, and telephones. Hand sanitizers have been installed and posters from the Ministry of Health on how to effectively clean hands with sanitizer and hand wash are prominently displayed throughout all of our schools.

The school district takes direction from the Vancouver Island Health Authority and has not been advised of any need to implement additional measures.

Sincerely,

Tom Longridge
Superintendent of Schools, School District 72