Education Commissioner La Verne Terry has issued an appeal to parents of public school students to lend their support in preventing the transmission of the flu and keeping students at home if they are sick or display flu-like symptoms. She reminds parents that students who are sent to school displaying symptoms of illness will be sent home and will not be allowed to re-enter school unless the symptoms have gone away.
They are asked to be aware of the common symptoms of the flu: fever (usually high), headache, muscle aches, chills, extreme tiredness, dry cough and runny nose; stomach symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, may also occur.
Share and discuss with children good hygiene habits:
• Washing hands frequently with soap and water, particularly after using restrooms and eating; or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
• If they feel a cough or sneeze coming on use their elbow to cover and catch it
• Avoid close contact with persons who are sick
• Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are spread easily that way
• Use disinfectant sprays or wipes to sanitize frequently touched surfaces
• If the student becomes sick with flu-like symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone with the exception of obtaining medical care
“The Virgin Islands Department of Education in collaboration with the V.I. Department of Health is embarking on a series of public health campaigns targeting school aged children. The department, specifically the two school districts,have been tasked with also imparting information to staff and students. However, we need the reinforcement of the preventive measures at home so that they will become routine habits,” said Terry. “Of particular concern are the younger students. Older students are also being asked to be more vigilant with their habits and to assist their younger siblings and other family members with the hygiene as well.”