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Message from the Superintendent Regarding EV-D68

Friday, September 19, 2014 -

Dear Parents and Guardians:

As you may be aware, the first signs of the enterovirus (EV-D68) have been reported in Central New York.

Enteroviruses are transmitted through close contact with an infected person, or by touching objects or surfaces contaminated with the virus and then touching the mouth, nose or eyes. School-age children are the most likely to be infected and become ill with this virus.

Symptoms of the enterovirus illness can include fever, runny nose, sneezing, coughing and body aches. Most infections are mild and they often go away on their own, however, some people with severe respiratory illness may need to be hospitalized.

There is no specific treatment for EV-D68 infections other than management of symptoms, and no specific anti-viral medications currently available for this purpose.

Prevention steps are important for individuals or persons with family members who are infants, have chronic health conditions or have compromised immune systems.

The Onondaga County Health Department and the New York State Department of Health have shared the following steps to protect yourself and your children from this and any other respiratory infection:
* Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
* Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
* Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
* Use the same precautions you would use to prevent the spread of influenza.

A child who is sick with a fever and respiratory symptoms should stay home from school and avoid close contact with others until they are free of symptoms for 24 hours to avoid passing on the illness.

The District is working closely with the Onondaga County Health Department, our district physician and our school nurses to monitor the situation and provide guidance to our school community and staff.

For more information about the Enterovirus D68 visit http://www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/about/EV-D68.html or http://www.ongov.net/health.

Sincerely,

Mark F. Potter
Superintendent of Schools

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