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Parent Letter Regarding Dallas Ebola Case

Oct 02, 2014

Dear Parents:

In light of the recent diagnosis of the Ebola virus in Dallas, please know there is currently no reason to believe that the situation presents a health concern to Frisco ISD students or staff members.

Despite false information circulating in social media, there is no indication of a connection between any FISD schools and the Dallas patient.

The District is in close contact with health authorities and will continue to closely monitor the situation.

We wanted to take this opportunity to remind you of Frisco ISD policies and protocols that are always in place to assist in keeping students healthy and safe and to help prevent the spread of illness within our schools. Some of you have contacted us to be refreshed on our procedures.

Please be reminded of the following:

  • We will isolate students who have symptoms of illness and call parents immediately for them to be picked up. 
  • If a student has fever, they must be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school (this means without the use of fever reducing medication). 
  • If a student has diarrhea, they must be diarrhea free for 24 hours before returning to school (this means without the use of diarrhea suppressing medication). Diarrhea is 3 or more episodes of loose stools in a 24 hour period.
  • A student must not come to school if vomiting 2 or more times in 24 hours. A student should have 1 or 2 meals without vomiting before returning to school.

In addition, our custodial department has strict guidelines they follow in the cleaning and disinfecting of our buildings. There is also a “special team” that is utilized throughout the District in addition to the regular custodial cleanings. 

Please be assured Frisco ISD will communicate any guidelines or precautions recommended by the local health departments that need to be taken in the event of a public health issue.

See below for more information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding Ebola.

About Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed this week, through laboratory tests, the first case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States in a person who had traveled to Dallas, Texas from Liberia. The patient did not have symptoms when leaving West Africa, but developed symptoms approximately four days after arriving in the U.S. on Sept. 20.

“Ebola can be scary. But there’s all the difference in the world between the U.S. and parts of Africa where Ebola is spreading. The United States has a strong health care system and public health professionals who will make sure this case does not threaten our communities,” said CDC Director, Dr. Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “While it is not impossible that there could be additional cases associated with this patient in the coming weeks, I have no doubt that we will contain this.”

Symptoms of Ebola include:

  • 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.

Recovery from Ebola depends on the patient’s immune response. People who recover from Ebola infection develop antibodies that last for at least 10 years.

Transmission

When an infection does occur in humans, the virus can be spread in several ways to others. Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with:

  • blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, feces, vomit and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola
  • objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus
  • infected animals
  • Ebola is not spread through the air or by water, or in general, food. However, in Africa, Ebola may be spread as a result of handling bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) and contact with infected bats.

Healthcare providers caring for Ebola patients and the family and friends in close contact with Ebola patients are at the highest risk of getting sick because they may come in contact with infected blood or body fluids of sick patients.

Treatment

No specific vaccine or medicine (e.g., antiviral drug) has been proven to be effective against Ebola. Symptoms of Ebola are treated as they appear.

Prevention

  • Practice careful hygiene. Avoid contact with blood and body fluids.
  • Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids.

Good hygiene and good health practices always involve the following:

  • 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.
  • Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • 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.

Learn More

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