September 23, 2014
Dear Parents and Community,
I would like to make you aware of Enterovirus (EV-D68) and enlist your assistance in limiting its spread. From mid-August to September 18, 2014, a total of 153 people from 18 states were confirmed to have respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. Recently, several cases have been confirmed in Pennsylvania. We are not aware of any cases with students in the East Penn School District.
The Center for Disease Control has stated that symptoms may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches. Symptoms can become more serious with difficulty in breathing and wheezing. Transmission of the virus is believed to be through respiratory secretions, nasal mucous, or sputum/saliva. The virus is likely spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches public surfaces that have been contaminated. At this time, there is no vaccine or antiviral medication available for EV-D68 infection.
Preventive measures include:
- diligent hand washing,
- the avoidance of touching the eyes, nose, and mouth,
- not sharing drinking cups or utensils with other people,
- avoidance of close personal contact if someone is sick
- disinfecting door knobs, light switches, and toys
- keeping children at home if they are sick, especially if they have symptoms of respiratory illness
Last week information was provided to district teachers and staff regarding the signs and symptoms of Enterovirus, its mode of transmission, and procedures to follow if a student appears ill during the school day. At each school, teachers will continue to send students to the health room who show signs of illness. The nursing staff will carefully assess students for the potential of having a contagious illness and advise exclusion from school as needed.
We will continue to closely monitor the situation. As always, if you have concerns regarding your child’s health, please contact your health care provider.
For more information, see www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/EV68/.
Superintendent of Schools