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What you need to know from the CDC?

Enterovirus D68

As you are likely aware, the United States has been experiencing a nationwide outbreak of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) associated with severe respiratory illness that has been especially harmful to children.  At the same time, you and your communities may also have questions about the Ebola virus.  To address both public health concerns, the U.S. Department of Education and our federal health partners have a number of informational resources to share with you.

Almost all of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-confirmed cases this year of EV-D68 infection have been among children.  Many of the children had asthma or a history of wheezing.  Many parents continue to be worried about the outbreak and want information about what they can do to prevent illness and protect themselves and their families.  The CDC has developed information and resources for parents about EV-D68.

Below are CDC resources about EV-D68 developed for parents:

·         Web Feature, “What Parents Need to Know About Enterovirus D68”

·         Drop-in newsletter article (matte article), “Parents: Learn the Facts about Enterovirus D68”

·         Fact sheet for parents, “What Parents Need to Know about Enterovirus D68”

·         General questions and answers for the public

·         Infographic: Keep Your Child from Getting and Spreading Enterovirus D68

Flu

Remember too, as entrovirus season is expected to taper off, flu activity usually begins to increase in October.  While there is not a vaccine to prevent illness from enteroviruses,  the single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year.  Many resources for parents and others can be found on the CDC flu web site CDC recommends that ALL children 6 months old or older get a flu vaccine.

Ebola

Finally, we know your communities may also have questions about what schools can do to keep students and adults safe from the Ebola virus.  The President has made control of Ebola a top national security priority, and we as a nation have spent more than $100 million fighting this outbreak since the first cases were reported last March in Africa.  Our national health system has the capacity and expertise to quickly detect and contain this disease and is working with states and school districts to ensure the safety of our students and school employees.  As you likely know, the CDC is continually updating its information on Ebola, information that can be found here: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/index.html.

Fast Facts Flyer from the CDC

Our Department’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students has a number of materials available regarding Readiness and Emergency Management of Schools in crisis situations, and those materials can be found here: http://rems.ed.gov/.  One resource at this web link is steps the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) has taken to keep parents and community partners continually updated on the Ebola situation there, including establishing a web site: http://www.dallasisd.org/healthupdates.

Additional materials developed by the DISD Communications Team included there are:

All Staff Notice about Ebola

Parent Letter — English

Parent Letter — Spanish

Ebola FAQ

Talking with Children about Ebola

Recognizing and Reducing Signs of Anxiety in Times of Crisis

 

We sincerely hope that you find these materials beneficial and that you will share them through all of your available networks and communication vehicles.

Thank you.

The National Public Engagement Team

The State and Local Public Engagement Team

U.S. Department of Education


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