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Health Updates

Health Update March 2015
FDA Recalls Products Containing Cumin
 

We recently became aware that a number of products containing cumin have been recalled by the FDA because some shipments of this product have tested positive for undeclared peanut protein. Ground cumin may be sold as a spice, in a spice mix or kit, or as a minor ingredient when used in finished food products.


Due to this recall, our food service program will not use ground cumin and any spice mixtures that contain cumin.Click here for more information about this recall  
 


Health Update January 2015:
Measles Awareness from The Nurse's Office
"The United States experienced a record number of measles cases during 2014, with 644 cases from 27 states reported to CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). This is the greatest number of cases since measles elimination was documented in the U.S. in 2000. "

In the past few months you may have heard reports of confirmed measles cases in Connecticut. In February 2014 there were two confirmed cases involving one adult and one infant in Fairfield County. During the last week of April 2014 two more measles cases were confirmed, one of which involved an elementary school student in Redding. These four reported cases of measles in Connecticut during 2014 represent the highest number of cases reported in our state during the past eight years. The good news is that all four individuals have either recovered or are recovering.

Due to our increased awareness of the measles, your NCPS nurses thought parents might appreciate the following information about measles symptoms and treatment:
  • Measles is a highly contagious viral illness, spread through the respiratory droplets of sneezing and coughing.
  • It can take 10-20 days from exposure to the appearance of the first symptom, which is usually a fever.
  • Initial symptoms are fever, coughing, runny nose and conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) followed by a rash that appears 2-4 days later.
  • The characteristic rash, which appears about two weeks after exposure, begins on the face and neck and then spreads to the rest of the body.
  • Complications such as ear infections, pneumonia or bronchitis are common. In rare cases, encephalitis may occur.
  • If you or your children are not immunized and initial symptoms are present, please seek immediate medical care.
As a reminder, if your child has an exemption from receiving the measles vaccine and there is an outbreak in the school community, your child will be excluded from school until:
  • The danger of the outbreak has passed as determined by public health officials
  • The child becomes ill with the disease and completely recovers, or
  • The child is immunized
If you have questions regarding your child’s immunization status, please contact your child’s physician for the most up-to-date information and his/her recommendations.
 
 

Health Update September 2014:
Enterovirus D68 & Flu Awareness from The Nurse's Office
This notice is to make you aware of a virus, Enterovirus D68 (EV-68), which may cause severe respiratory illness in some children and adolescents.

Enterovirus D68:
  • Has recently been identified in New York with suspected cases in Connecticut.
  • In most children, the virus will cause mild symptoms which may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough and/or body and muscle aches.
  • In some children the virus may cause difficulty breathing and wheezing. Many of the children who became very ill had a history of asthma or wheezing in the past.
  • Can be spread by an infected person’s respiratory secretions, such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum.
  • May also be spread when someone touches a contaminated surface.
If at any time your child experiences difficulty breathing, wheezing or a decrease in activity, seek medical attention.

In addition, as the fall and winter months approach so does the “flu” season. Since it is not possible to predict what the rate of infection will be in the weeks ahead, we each need to take precautions to minimize the spread of both Enterovirus D68 and flu within our homes, schools and community. These same precautions also mitigate the spread of other communicable diseases.

We need your cooperation to help minimize the prevalence and spread of flu and flu-like illness in our community. Please:
  • Consult with your health care providers regarding flu vaccine for you and your children. The CDC recommends annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months and older.
  • Be knowledgeable regarding Enterovirus D68 and influenza. For current information, see http://www.cdc.gov/non-polio enterovirus/about EV-D68.
  • Make plans for child care in the event that your child becomes ill.
  • Teach your children preventive strategies, such as: avoiding close contact with others; covering their mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing/coughing (or coughing/sneezing into an elbow rather than hand); disposing of used tissue into a wastebasket; frequently washing their hands (or using an alcohol-based sanitizer if hand washing is not feasible); and not touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Keep your children home when they have early symptoms indicative of illness (e.g., fever, headache, runny nose, extreme fatigue, and cough, sore throat, muscle aches. Individuals may be contagious for at least one day before the onset of symptoms and to up to seven days after getting sick.
  • Keep your children home until they are fully recovered from the illness e.g., have had no fever, vomiting or diarrhea for at least 24 hours; are no longer significantly fatigued or in need of extra sleep; and have significantly reduced respiratory symptoms).
  • A normal temperature in the morning does not indicate the end of fever or illness. It is not unusual for fever to be absent in the early morning hours but appear (or reappear) in the afternoon or evening hours.
  • A minimum of a full 24 hours of normal temperature – without Tylenol or other fever-reducing medication – is essential before a child returns to school. Recovery from the acute phase of the illness may require seven or more days of rest and care at home; full recuperation may take two weeks or more.
  • Consult with your child’s physician should you have questions regarding the prevention and treatment of flu and flu-like illness in your family. See the websites referenced above for flu symptoms that should be reported immediately to your child’s physician.
  • Never give aspirin to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms – and particularly fever – without first speaking to your doctor because of the risk of Reye's syndrome, a rare but potentially fatal disease.
If parents and staff members follow the above guidelines and collaborate in teaching children effective prevention strategies, we may succeed in decreasing the spread of flu and other illnesses within the school community. In turn, we may succeed in protecting some of our more vulnerable community members. Thank you in advance for your collaboration in prevention efforts this year.
 

Health Update January 2014:
Preventative Tips from The Nurse's Office
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is reporting significant numbers of wide-spread confirmed flu. In addition, a stomach virus of 5-7 days has also been reported by hospitals and physicians.

Symptoms of flu:
Sudden onset of symptoms, fever of 101.5 degrees or higher, AND one of the following:
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • muscle aches
Symptoms of stomach virus:
  • chills
  • repetitive vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • stomach cramping
  • generalized weakness
Helpful tips for parents include:
  • keeping sick children home from school, no return to school until symptom-free for 24 hours without use of anti-fever medications
  • frequent hand washing
  • teaching children to cough only into tissues or the inside of the elbow
  • stay at least three feet away from people who are ill
  • drink lots of fluids to maintain hydration, especially if you have fever or vomiting


 

 

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