Outbreaks of a resistant strain of Staphylococcus Aureus (“staph”), referred to as CA-MRSA (community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) are becoming increasingly common in schools. Athletes involved in contact sports are at particularly high risk. CA-MRSA remains very treatable, but prevention plays a key role in avoiding potential outbreaks among athletic teams or in the community at large.
CA-MRSA commonly presents as a skin infection, like a pimple or boil. Treatment normally involves drainage of the wound or, if necessary, taking oral antibiotics. The occurrence of a CA-MRSA skin infection does not mean that a person is not clean or has been in an unhygienic environment. Some persons with no apparent risk factors for CA-MRSA infection may come into contact with the bacteria while they have a small break in the skin, and this can result in an infection in what had appeared to be normal skin.
Campbell Hall faculty, staff, and coaches have been advised to be on the lookout for students with large pimples, boils, or insect/spider bites, and to refer students with any such skin conditions to the nurse or athletic trainers for evaluation.
Preventive measures to guard against the spread of CA-MRSA include, but are not limited to, the following:
Athletes, especially those involved in contact sports, must wash their hands frequently.
Frequently touched or shared equipment, such as weight room machines or trainers’ tables, must be cleansed regularly with an approved disinfectant.
Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, washcloths, razors, clothing, or sports uniforms/equipment.
Uniforms, towels, and gym clothes must be transported home in a plastic bag and cleaned in a timely manner.
Students diagnosed with CA-MRSA must check in daily with a nurse or athletic trainer for treatment and assessment.
Infected wounds must be treated and covered.
What is Pertussis?
Pertussis (also known as whooping cough) is a very contagious respiratory illness that can affect persons of all ages and is spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Pertussis symptoms usually develop within 7–10 days after being exposed, but sometimes not for as long as 6 weeks.
What are the signs & symptoms of Pertussis?
In the beginning stages, the symptoms of pertussis may be similar to those of a common cold (runny nose, mild cough, low-grade fever) but they gradually progress over the next several weeks to fits of coughing, often accompanied by a whoop-like sound when breathing. Symptoms can get worse very quickly. You can learn more about pertussis at www.cdc.gov/pertussis or www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/ip. If you notice any symptoms in your child, contact your healthcare professional.
How is Pertussis spread?
People with pertussis usually spread the disease by coughing or sneezing while in close contact with others, who then breathe in the pertussis bacteria. Infected people are most contagious up to about 2 weeks after the cough begins. Adults may be a major cause for the spread of pertussis as many make sure their children get vaccinated, but fail to talk to a doctor about vaccinating or getting a booster, themselves.
How is pertussis treated?
Physicians may prescribe antibiotics to treat pertussis as it is caused by bacteria. As with a lot of illnesses, it is best to treat pertussis early. If you think you, your child, a family member, or caregiver may have pertussis, contact your physician right away.
What is Fifth Disease?
Fifth Disease is a highly contagious, benign, viral illness in children that is spread by respiratory droplets (coughing, sneezing). It begins with a low-grade fever, headache and cold-like symptoms. These pass and it may seem as if the illness is gone until a rash appears a few days later. The rash generally starts on the face, (“slapped cheek” appearance), and then a fine, red, lacy rash may cover the arms, legs, trunk, and buttocks. Pain and swelling of the joints may also occur. Symptoms usually appear within 4 to 14 days of being exposed. It is most contagious during the “cold like” symptoms. Once the rash appears, the child is probably no longer contagious.
How do you treat Fifth Disease?
Fifth disease is usually mild and will go away on its own for people who are otherwise healthy however if your child is experiencing any symptoms, please contact the doctor. Treatment typically involves relieving symptoms, such as fever, itching, and joint pain.
How do you prevent Fifth Disease?
According to the CDC, you can reduce your chance of being infected with Fifth Disease by:
• washing hands often with soap and water
• covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
• not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
• avoiding close contact with people who are sick
• staying home when you are sick
What is lice?
Head lice are small insects that live in people's hair and feed on their blood. Lice glue their eggs, or "nits," to hair so that the nits do not get brushed off. Lice die quickly (within two days) without feeding, so they cannot live very long away from a host. Nits take six to nine days to hatch, and seven or more days for the lice to become egg-laying adults.
How do people get head lice?
Head lice are spread by direct contact with the hair of an infested person. Head lice move by crawling; they cannot hop or fly. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting lice.
We encourage assistance in preventing the spread of head lice by checking your student’s hair frequently and by discussing the importance of not sharing personal items such as hairbrushes, hair accessories, hats, clothing, and helmets.
If you find that your student has lice or nits, please notify the health office as soon as possible.
Campbell Hall has a “no nit” policy. Students with lice or nits must remain home until they are free of them. Clearance by the Health Office is required to return to class.
Please remind your student to be respectful of other students and not discuss who may or may not have head lice.
For more information, please click here.
What is the flu?
Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses
. It can cause mild to severe illness. Young children, older adults, and people with certain medical conditions can be at risk for serious complications.
The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
• Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
• Sore throat
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Muscle or body aches
• Fatigue (tiredness)
• Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
• * It's important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
We recommend that families follow basic guidelines for reducing the risk of transmission of the flu which include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing and sneezing or cough into the inside your elbow. If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash immediately.
2. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially before eating and after using the restroom. Hand sanitizers are also effective.
3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth because germs are spread this way.
4. If your student has a fever of 100.0 degrees or higher or is vomiting, he/she is required to stay home from school until fever free/ without vomiting for 24 hours.
5. It is also recommended that you contact the doctor regarding your student's symptoms.
Please click here for more information from the CDC about influenza.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that spreads from person to person by respiratory droplets — simply being in the same room with someone that’s been exposed is enough to spread the illness. It spreads through the air, through coughing and sneezing. The virus can live for up to two hours on a surface or in an airspace where an infected person coughed or sneezed. If one person has it, 90 percent of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected.Infected people are usually contagious from four days before their rash starts, to four days afterward.
Prevention and early awareness are key to halting the spread of this illness so please let us know immediately if you suspect a measles diagnosis and definitely contact the Health Office if a diagnosis is confirmed by a health care provider.
Roughly 8-12 days (but up to 21 days) after exposure, measles begins with a mild to moderate fever accompanied by cough, runny nose, and red eyes. Two or three days later, the fever often spikes. At the same time, a red blotchy rash appears, usually first on the face, along the hairline and behind the ears. The rash rapidly spreads downward to the chest and back and, finally, to the thighs and feet. Most children with measles are sick enough that they miss at least a week of school. One in every 20 people with measles develops pneumonia and, more rarely, serious, even life-threatening complications can occur.
Your child is at risk of developing measles if she/he has never had the disease or has never received the measles vaccine. This is also true for any adult or child in your household so please also let us know if someone in your household receives a confirmed diagnosis.
Learn more about the measles vaccination by clicking here and learn more about exemption from immunizations by clicking here.