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Illness Prevention and Guidelines

Health Services

MRSA 

Methicillin-resistant Staphyloccus aureus (MRSA) is a type of staph infection that has developed resistance to several forms of antibiotics.  MRSA has been around for many years, mostly in health care settings but is becoming more prevalent in the community. 

In the community most MRSA infections are skin infections that are often described as a "spider bite", abscess, or pus filled boil, and if it is warm, painful, red or swollen, this can indicate a staph skin infection.

Preventive measures are the best way to avoid an infection and hand washing is the most important way to help prevent the spread of this (and other) conditions.   Also, avoid sharing personal items that come in contact with bare skin. 

Children may attend school as long as area can be covered in a bandage without any leakage.

SCABIES

Scabies is an infestation of the skin with very tiny mites and affects people of all races and social classes.  Scabies spreads rapidly under crowded conditions where there is frequent and prolong skin contact, or by sharing bedding, towels, or underclothing of a person with scabies.  Mites cannot survive off the human body for more than 3 days.  Symptoms include a rash of pink bumps or tiny blisters and intense itching, which may be more severe at night. 

Children will be excluded from school for 24 hours after treatment begins.  This does require a prescription from a medical provider.  The itching may continue for 2-3 weeks after initiation of treatment.  Household members should also be treated to prevent the spread.

FIFTH DISEASE

Fifth disease is a mild, common illness caused by a virus.  Rash is the most common symptom with possibly a low-grade fever or sore throat.  The characteristic rash causes intense redness of the cheeks (slapped look appearance).  Adults, especially women, may have pain, redness and swelling of the joints. 

This is spread when infected person coughs or sneezes. Remember to always cover your cough with elbow or tissue.

Children are not excluded from school.  Persons with fifth disease are no longer infectious once the rash begins. 

MENINGITIS (Meningococcal Disease)

This disease most often affects children and young adults.  Meningococcal disease is a medical emergency that requires prompt treatment.  This can be misdiagnosed as something less serious because early symptoms are similar to those of influenza or other common viral illnesses.  Most symptoms start with sudden onset of fever, chills, and tiredness.  Followed by vomiting, headache, stiff neck, extreme sleepiness, confusion, irritability, and lack of appetite; sometimes a rash or seizures. 

This is spread through the secretions of affected people by coughing or sneezing.  The bacteria can also be spread by hands and objects contaminated by secretions. This disease is relatively rare disease and usually occurs as a single isolated event.  Vaccination may help prevent some cases of this illness. 

Children will be excluded from the school and we will follow the guidelines of our local health department as this is a reportable disease.

PERTUSSIS (Whooping Cough)

Pertussis can be a serious illness, especially in young, unvaccinated children.  Adults and older children with pertussis may be the source of infection for infections and young children. 

Symptoms begins with a runny nose, sneezing, mild cough, and possibly a low-grade fever.  The second phase is marked by uncontrolled coughing spells and a whooping noise (in young children) when the person inhales.  During severe coughing spells, a person may vomit or become blue in the face from lack of air.  This coughing stage may last for six or more weeks. 

The germ that cause pertussis live in the nose, mouth and throat, and are sprayed into the air when an infected person sneezes, coughs or talks.  Other people nearby can then breath in the germ. 

It is important to follow good hand-washing techniques of all ages, and cover all coughs.  Also, as adults seem to be the source of infection, please check with your primary care provider to see if you would be a candidate for the Tdap vaccination.

Children will be excluded from the school and we will follow the guidelines of our local health department as this is a reportable disease.

Bullitt County Public Schools
1040 Highway 44 East
Shepherdsville, KY 40165