Dear Nottingham Parents/Guardians,
Thank you for assisting us in keeping Nottingham a healthy school environment. Due to the recent outbreak of multiple cases of strep throat at Nottingham, below is a letter from the Department of Human Services giving guidelines to follow to minimize any additional spread.
Several cases of Strep Throat have recently been reported at your school
Strep throat (caused by Group A streptococcus bacteria) is commonly seen in pre-school and school-age children, especially during the school year. Untreated strep throat can lead to more serious conditions, so evaluation by a medical professional is recommended if symptoms occur. The disease is moderately contagious but spread can be minimized by
1) covering all coughs and sneezes,
2) keeping hands clean with soap and warm water (hand sanitizer is also effective unless a child has a lot of “yuck” on their hands), and
3) not sharing common objects.
HOW IT SPREADS:
The bacteria which cause Strep Throat are spread by respiratory droplets from coughing or sneezing or close contact with someone who is infected, especially sharing any toys, eating utensil, water bottles, etc.
- Sudden onset of sore throat, fever, painful swallowing, and redness in the back of the throat.
- Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck are common.
- Some children will have white spots or patches on their tonsils.
- Headache, fatigue, stomachache, and decreased appetite may also be present.
- A rash called “scarlet fever” sometimes occurs.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:
Make sure your child is washing their hands and covering their cough!
IF SYMPTOMS DEVELOP:
- Please keep your child at home and notify the school.
- Contact your child’s healthcare provider for guidance and/or evaluation. Provide them with a copy of this letter.
- If your child is diagnosed with Strep Throat, they will need to take antibiotics for at least 24 hours AND be feeling somewhat improved before they may safely return to school.
WHAT WE ARE DOING:
School Health, which is part of the Public Health Division, is working closely with Arlington Public Schools to monitor illnesses and to prevent the spread of the disease.
If you want to learn more about Strep Throat, information from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is available online here: http://www.cdc.gov/groupAstrep/about/faqs.html
If you have questions, please contact the school clinic at (703) 228-8329. The School Health Bureau’s website is www.apsva.us/schoolhealth.
Samuel Stebbins, MD, MPH
School Health Bureau
Thank you for being a partner in your child’s education.
Mary Beth Pelosky