Pandemic Flu Preparedness

OVERVIEW OF PANDEMIC INFLUENZA (FLU)

Influenza, also known as the flu, is a disease that attacks the respiratory tract (nose, throat, and lungs) in humans. Different from a viral cold, influenza usually comes on suddenly and may include fever, headache, tiredness (which may be extreme), dry cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, and body aches. Seasonal influenza is a yearly occurrence that causes minor economic impact and kills primarily persons aged 65 and older. It also provides immunity to those who are exposed, but do not succumb, to the virus.

World-wide pandemics of influenza occur when a novel (new or different) virus emerges to which the population has little immunity. During the 20th century there were three such pandemics, the most notable of which was the 1918 Spanish influenza responsible for 20 million deaths throughout the world. When influenza strains of avian or swine influenza interact with the common strains of human influenza, a mutation can occur that leads to a virus capable of human-to-human transmission, initiating a pandemic strain of influenza.

In a pandemic situation, the goal is to slow the spread of disease to prevent illness. The most effective strategy to accomplish this is through vaccination. However, it is likely that effective vaccines will not be available for many months following the emergence of a new pandemic strain of influenza. Existing antiviral medications may also not be effective or available. Other infection control strategies such as social distancing, improved hygiene and respiratory etiquette, isolation and quarantine may be used to control the spread of disease.

Image of Corona Virus

THE 2019 NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (Covid-19) UPDATE

 

The 2019 novel coronavirus, Covid-19, is a virus that was recently identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, and is now being spread widely in other parts of mainland China. More cases are being detected worldwide, and while new cases were initially linked to Hubei Province, China, at this time public health considers being anywhere in China in the past 14 days a risk factor for novel coronavirus infection.  The virus causes respiratory illness.

Guidance for School Districts from California Department of Public Health (February 7, 2020)

At this time, the health risk to the general public in California from novel coronavirus remains low, but schools and families can take common-sense precautions to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases.

 

California Department of Public Health has stated that travelers from mainland China arriving in the United States since February 3, 2020 should be excluded from school for 14 days, beginning the day after they left China.

 

CVESD asks that you ensure students’ and staffs’ privacy to help prevent discrimination if individuals have traveled to China or develop symptoms like those of Covid -19.

 

In the unusual event that a student or staff member is identified who:

  • has symptoms of respiratory illness, such as fever and cough, AND
  • traveled from mainland China in the prior 14 days

 

CVESD schools will take the following steps:

  • separate the individual from others as much as possible and make arrangements for the individual to go home, and
  • contact the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency immediately.

Guidance for Staff, Students and Families

We encourage all students, parents, and staff to take everyday preventive actions:

Stay home when sick.

  • Remain at home until fever is less than 100.4° for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
  • Seek immediate medical care if symptoms become more severe, e.g., high fever or difficulty breathing.
  • Use “respiratory etiquette”. Cover cough with a tissue or sleeve.  Provide adequate supplies within easy reach, including tissues and no-touch trash cans.
  • Wash hands frequently.  Encourage hand washing by students, staff and family members through education, scheduled time for handwashing, and the provision of adequate supplies.
  • Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces.
  • Separate sick individuals from others. When feasible, identify a “sick room” through which others do not regularly pass.
  • Encourage flu vaccine for those who haven’t had it this season to reduce illnesses and absences on campus (Note: this won’t prevent coronavirus illnesses). 

A note about face masks: face masks are most useful for preventing disease spread when they are worn by people who have symptoms; therefore, people are asked to wear a mask at doctors’ offices and hospitals if they are coughing or sneezing.

 

For up-to-date information regarding the novel coronavirus, see:

CHULA VISTA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICT'S
PANDEMIC INFLUENZA PLAN

The Chula Vista Elementary School District assists the community with the attainment of its educational goals. As part of this process, CVESD is committed to providing information for the health and welfare of the educational community. The District Emergency Planning Team stays current on all relevant information and research involving potential pandemic occurrences. In doing so, we will use the most current information to educate our parents, students and staff regarding preparation and prevention.

If a pandemic occurs, the district will refer to the District's Pandemic Influenza Operations Plan for guidance, take direction from the County Health Official, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, California Department of Public Health and/or the Center for Disease Control and respond to a declared emergency as outlined in the CVESD Emergency Operations Plan.

Pandemic Influenza Resources for Families
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