ASBO International has been tracking several public health issues lately, including Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) and the Ebola virus, and considering how these viruses will affect your school districts and your students. We will continue to keep you updated on these issues here on the network as we receive more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Education (DOE).
What you need to know about Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68):
There is a U.S. outbreak of EV-D68 associated with severe respiratory illness that is especially harmful to children. Almost all cases have been among children, many of whom have had asthma or a history of wheezing.
Yesterday, the CDC issued a press release that shares news about a new lab test they developed for EV-D68 that will allow more rapid testing of specimens. Remember, as enterovirus season in general is expected to taper off, flu activity usually begins to increase in October. While there is not a vaccine to prevent illness from EV-D68, health officials recommend that the 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 website.
Resources to share with parents and the general public about EV-D68.
1. "What Parents Need to Know About Enterovirus D68" - Web feature.
2. "Parents: Learn the Facts about Enterovirus D68" - Newsletter article.
3. "What Parents Need to Know about Enterovirus D68" - Fact sheet.
4. "General Questions and Answers for the Public" - FAQ website.
5. "Infographic: Keep Your Child from Getting and Spreading Enterovirus D68" - Infographic.
What you need to know about the Ebola virus:
The President has made control of Ebola a top national security priority, and the United States has spent more than $100 million fighting this outbreak since the first cases were reported last March in Africa. Our national healthcare 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. The CDC is continually updating its information on Ebola, which can be found here.
The CDC's Office of Safe and Healthy Students has a number of resources available regarding Readiness and Emergency Management of Schools in crisis situations, which can be found here. One of the resources is the Dallas Independent School District's (DISD) steps to keep parents and community partners continually updated on the Ebola situation there, including their website. There, you can also find materials developed by the DISD Communications Team including parent letters, all-staff notice on Ebola, FAQs, information on recognizing Ebola symptoms, and more.
ASBO International will post a blog early next week about the Ebola virus outbreak and how to protect yourself and your district. Please keep an eye on the Global School Business Network for more information.
John D. Musso, CAE