2022-11-22 Holiday Respiratory Information
As the holiday season approaches, traveling increases and more time is spent visiting with others. As a result, we anticipate respiratory illnesses will continue to spread among children and adults. These illnesses could include, but are not limited to flu, RSV, and COVID-19.
We encourage you to check out last week's interview in the Vermont Edition called “Vermont hospitals tackle RSV surge, with flu season around the corner”. Dr. Rebecca Bell, a pediatric critical care physician at the UVM Children’s Hospital and Clayton Wetzel, Waitsfield school nurse, discuss respiratory illness in children.
We are asking that families provide updated consent to test children for COVID-19. Students and staff have access to rapid antigen testing and LAMP testing at school. COVID tests can be sent home with students and staff at the discretion of the school nurse. In the event your child develops symptoms at school, they can be tested at school with your consent. Please complete the following annual consent form for the school at which your child/children attend.
2022-23 COVID-19 Testing Parental Consent Forms
Hand, Foot, and Mouth
Our schools have also seen cases of Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease. This virus usually affects younger children, but anyone can get it. Symptoms may include fever, red spots on the tips of fingers and toes, with painful bumps on the mouth and throat. Students with draining blisters or pain when eating should stay home until symptoms have improved. Students with a fever should be fever free for 24 hours without medication prior to returning to school.
From the Vermont Department of Health
The Vermont Department of Health (VDH) has recently shared a few important messages about the rise in respiratory illnesses, the importance of vaccinations, and what we can do to stay safe. The following information is from the VDH.
In these times of high respiratory virus in the community, getting vaccinated is more important than ever. Everyone over the age of 6 months should be vaccinated against influenza. Walk-in clinics for both influenza and COVID-19 vaccination remain available with expanded weekend and evening hours to accommodate a variety of schedules, namely families with school-aged children. Updated (bivalent) boosters for everyone ages 5 years and older who completed their primary COVID-19 vaccine series or received their last booster or additional dose at least two months ago. Now is the best time to be sure you are updated on vaccines.
Flu and COVID-19 vaccines are available at walk-in clinics in Berlin (58 East View Lane) on the following dates/times:
There is no special treatment for RSV (or respiratory syncytial virus) so testing is generally not recommended. Most children with RSV will recover with home care. Fever, cough, and congestion can be managed at home with fever-reducing medicines, gentle nasal suctioning, and humidification. Children should be seen by a medical provider if they have difficulty drinking and are dehydrated or if they have difficulty breathing with use of chest or neck muscles. Rare but serious symptoms in infants include gray or blue color to skin or lips or long pauses in breathing. Those infants should be seen by a medical provider immediately.
What Can We Do?
Staying home while sick, masking and other measures can help keep others safe.
Good hand hygiene is essential:
To our entire HUUSD community, we hope you have a happy, safe holiday, and we thank you for your efforts to reduce the spread of illness in our community.