Newsletter 01/15/2015

Dear Awbrey Park Families,

It is the flu and cold season again! A little twist for the North Eugene area is that our neighboring school, Spring Creek Elementary School, has experienced a sudden spike in student absences. After consulting with the Public Health Department, the illness is suspected to be Norovirus. The symptoms are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and low grade fever.

We don’t have any confirmed cases at Awbrey Park. We did have about 12% of our students absent on Wednesday. A few of these students were kept home because of vomiting. To be preventive, we are having students wash their hands with soap and water three times a day. We have also wiped down all the desks, chairs, and the common areas.

Here are some reminders from one of the 4J school nurses, Ann Anderson, about precautions. Viruses and Common Colds spread easily among children in schools, and families with school age children have more infections than others. You can help prevent the spread of flu and the common cold or help your child get better if he/she does get sick by following a few simple steps.

  • If your child is sick and has a fever >100, keep him/her home to prevent the spread of illness to others. Your child should be naturally fever free—temperature below 100 degrees without Tylenol, Motrin, or fever reducing medication.
  • If your child has vomited or has had diarrhea (watery or loose stools) with or without fever please keep them home for 24 hours past the incident. If someone has Norovirus, they are supposed to stay home for 72 hours past the last incident.
  • If your student has a very bad cold or cough with or without a fever and they cannot contain their mucous please keep them home.
  • If your student has symptoms or complaints that prevent them from participating in his/her usual school activities, such as persistent cough, please keep them home,
  • Remind your child to cover his/her nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing or coughing and dispose of the tissue immediately. Encourage them to cough or sneeze into the bend of their elbow to keep germs off their hands.
  • The best prevention for spread of infection is frequent hand washing with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.      
  • Keep immunizations up to date and get a flu shot as recommended by your MD.

What is the difference between Colds and Flu?

Flu symptoms often come on rapidly and include fever, chills, cough, sore throat headache, and muscle aches. Contact your doctor with these symptoms and if you are unsure. Children with the flu should not come to school.

Cold symptoms include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, and hacking cough. Colds often come on gradually. If cold symptoms persist, keep your child home to get rest and plenty of fluids to prevent worsening of symptoms.

Michael Riplinger
Awbrey Park Elementary School
Eugene, OR 97404

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