I am writing you with an update regarding two viral diseases that have been in the news of late.
Enterovirus D-68: fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough; muscle aches with severe symptoms including wheezing and difficulty breathing (severe symptoms are more likely with folks that have other medical issues).
Every year, millions of children in the United States catch enteroviruses that can cause coughing, sneezing, and fever. This year, the enterovirus that is most commonly causing respiratory illness in children across the country is enterovirus-D68 (EV-D68). There are several key points regarding prevention of this illness.
The single best thing to do to prevent the spread of this (and any other illness) is good hand washing. The use of soap and water is best but alcohol based (Purell) products are effective as well. Avoid contact to eyes or mouth with unwashed hands. Limit physical contact with people around you who are sick. Our state of wellness creates a natural immunity for preventing illness. Eat well, stay hydrated, stay active and sleep well on a regular basis. Another key in curtailing the spread of illness is containment. If your child is sick (vomit, cough, fever, diarrhea, achy) please keep him or her home. Lastly, clean and disinfect areas that are frequently touched such as doorknobs, toys, counter tops.
Below is a link to numerous CDC resources about EV-D68 developed for the public:
Ebola: fever (greater than 38.6°C or 101.5°F), severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal (stomach) pain, unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising) Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days.
In light of recent diagnosis of Ebola in the United States (Dallas), Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced today that the State of Connecticut is taking additional steps to strengthen the level of preparedness for the Ebola virus. At this time there are no direct orders to public schools in our state.
Below is a link to his recent release.
Please know that there is currently no reason to believe that the Ebola situation presents a health concern to Portland students or staff members. I simply want you to know that I will continue to monitor the situation and work with both local and state government in planning any future action that we may take if directed by Governor Malloy.
Philip B. O’Reilly, Ed.D.