Flu and Coronavirus Update
Dear Parent/Guardian and TUSD Community,
Cold and Flu season is upon us. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reports that influenza, or “The Flu,” activity levels have increased over the past several weeks. As a reminder, please do not send your child to school if they are feeling sick. Keeping your sick child home will be a great benefit for the health and wellness of our students and staff. Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk of serious flu complications. Symptoms of influenza can vary, but generally include a high fever, headache, chills, body aches, sore throat, and cough.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to prevent influenza is as follows:
Tips to Prevent The Flu:
- Get vaccinated every year
- Avoid close contact with sick people
- Frequent handwashing with soap
- Stay at home if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional.
- See more prevention tips here from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The 2019-2020 Flu Season has been complicated by recent reports of a novel coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Common symptoms in an infected person include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Although there have been reported cases of novel coronavirus globally, to date, there have been no reported coronavirus cases in Stanislaus County. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said the risk of local transmission is low.
Turlock Unified School District will continue to partner with the Stanislaus County Department of Public Health, which will provide updated information about the diagnosis and management of cases of novel coronavirus, as applicable, in an effort to identify and contain any future cases. People who have traveled to Wuhan, China since December 1, 2019, could have been exposed to the virus. Seek medical care if you traveled to Wuhan and develop a fever and/or respiratory symptoms within 14 days of your return. At this time, the California Department of Public Health does not recommend exclusion of individuals who have traveled internationally, unless they are symptomatic, at which time they should seek a medical evaluation.
The Turlock Unified School District is still advising parents, as we always do, do not send your child to school if they may be sick. Keeping your sick child home will be a great benefit for the health and wellness of our students and staff. If children are sent to school sick, they can be removed from class and school as deemed appropriate by our staff and nurses. If you, your child, or family recently traveled to or from China, we also ask that you take extra precautions and seek a medical evaluation from your doctor before returning to school.
Center for Disease Control Guidelines
If you or someone you know has traveled to Wuhan and feel sick, please:
- Stay home and avoid contact with others, except for seeking medical care.
- Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
- Do not travel while sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
If you or someone you know is planning on traveling to Wuhan, the following are important steps to take:
- Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
Stay home when you are sick
Stay home from work and school and try to avoid errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading the illness to others.
“Students and staff with influenza symptoms, including a fever, a cough or sore throat, should stay home and not attend classes or participate in other group activities for at least 24 hours after the fever resolves without the use of fever-reducing medications.” ~Orange County Department of Education’s coordinator of Health and Wellness.
Avoid close contact
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
Cover your mouth and nose
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), are spread by coughing, sneezing or unclean hands.
Clean your hands
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Here is a three-minute video from the CDC about proper handwashing: https://youtu.be/eZw4Ga3jg3E
Practice other good health habits
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
For more flu prevention tips, visit http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/index.htm
The health and wellbeing of our students and staff is truly our first priority. If we all work together and follow these important guidelines, we can keep our students, staff, and community healthy.