We have many types of viruses circulating in our community and our schools. Given the proximity of students, illness can spread quickly in community spaces such as schools. I wanted to give you a list of symptoms and types of illness we have been seeing at the school, to help assess your child and the severity of their symptoms in case they get sick. Please contact your primary care physician if you have any further questions or concerns about your child. Frequent hand washing is the most important technique in preventing the transmission of illness. Please continue to work on proper and effective hand washing with your child.
- Fever in staff or students above 100.4 in a sign of contagious illness. Please keep your student home with a fever. It is important that students stay home from school until their fever is gone for 24 hours without the use of Tylenol or ibuprofen. Upon returning to school, students must check in with the nurse before returning to class.
- Sore throat
- Sore throat is a common symptom of an upper respiratory infection associated with the common cold. If the sore throat causes difficulty swallowing, lasts multiple days, and/or causes swollen glands, please contact your primary care provider, as this could be a sign of strep throat. Strep throat is caused by bacteria instead of a virus, and can cause serious health problems without the treatment of antibiotics. Untreated strep throat can lead for rheumatic fever, heart, and kidney problems. Students diagnosed with strep throat may return to school once feverless and on antibiotic treatment for 24 hours. Upon returning to school, students must check in with the nurse before returning to class.
- Many chronic conditions, medications, and allergies can cause a cough. A cough is also a symptom of the common cold and other upper respiratory infections. Because coughs may contain virus, please continue to stress the importance of covering our coughs, coughing into our elbow, and handwashing. Any cough that causes gagging or a whooping sound needs medical evaluation. Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the nose and throat that is treated with antibiotics. If diagnosed students are allowed to return after the five days of antibiotic treatment is completed. Unvaccinated students are excluded from school during the 21 day incubation period. The pertussis vaccine is not 100% effective but greatly reduces the likelihood of catching this serious disease.
- Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, can be viral or bacterial in nature. Both are contagious, however, students with bacterial pink eye are excluded from school until treatment begins and symptoms improve. Viral conjunctivitis produces a clear watery discharge and usually accompanies other upper respiratory symptoms. Students with viral conjunctivitis and no fever are not excluded from school. Bacterial conjunctivitis produces a thicker yellow-green mucus and requires antibiotic treatment. Students may return to school once antibiotic treatment has started and approved to return to school by a health care provider. Upon returning to school, students must check in with the nurse before returning to class.
- There are many viruses that cause diarrhea and vomiting in children. Many enteroviruses, or stomach viruses cause a high fever, vomiting and diarrhea. If your child is diagnosed with a bacterial or food borne GI illness, please inform the school nurse. Norovirus is a severe gastrointestinal illness that usually is feverless and produces severe vomiting and/or diarrhea. Norovirus is highly contagious, cannot be killed by the use of hand sanitizers, and has been found to live on surfaces for weeks. If your student is diagnosed with norovirus, please keep them home for 24 hours after all symptoms are resolved. Unfortunately, immunity to norovirus lasts only a few months. Upon returning to school, students must check in with the nurse before returning to class.
- Influenza is a severe viral infection that causes fever, fatigue, sore throat, muscle aches, and many times vomiting and/or diarrhea in children. If you are concerned that your child has influenza, their primary care provider can swab your child to see if they test positive. Please keep your child home from school for 24 hours after their last fever and without the use of Tylenol or ibuprofen. Upon returning to school, students must check in with the nurse before returning to class.
We continue to work with your students on handwashing, and are disinfecting frequently used surfaces at the school. Please continue to stress handwashing with your student and please help us by keeping sick students home from school. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the school nurses by phone or email.
Annemarie Hill, RN, BSN
Cle Elum-Roslyn School District RN
(509) 649-4705: Elem/Middle School
(509) 649-4948: High School