EDIT MAIN
Plus_blue

The RSU1 Health Services team is dedicated to providing students with the care and guidance they need throughout the school year.

Influenza

As many of you have already heard, Influenza activity in Maine is widespread. What can you do to prevent and control influenza?

  1. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  2. Stay home when you are sick.
  3. Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  4. Clean your hands often.
  5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  6. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, drinks lots of fluids, and consume nutritious food.

If your child has a temperature of 100 degrees or more and a cough or sore throat, they have an influenza-like illness. Keep your child home for 24 hours after the fever resolves without the use of medicine.

If you believe your child has influenza, it is recommended you call your health care provider for current treatment recommendations. You should call your doctor or seek medical care if your child has trouble breathing or has behavior changes including changes in eating or drinking habits or if your child is ill enough that you would normally seek health care advice.

Our custodial staff will be following the CDC recommendations and doing district-wide disinfecting of all surfaces, doors, lockers, light switches and desks over the next week.

For more information please see www.maineflu.gov.

Pertussis

Pertussis is a respiratory illness commonly known as whooping cough that is caused by the pertussis bacteria. Pertussis is spread from person to person through the air. A person may catch pertussis by standing close (less than 3 feet away) to an infected person who is coughing or sneezing. A person has to breathe in droplets from an infected person to get sick. 

For additional information please refer to the CDC website: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/vaccine/pertussis.shtml

Signs and Symptoms of Pertussis

The first signs of pertussis are similar to a cold (sneezing, runny nose, fever, and a cough). After one or two weeks the cough gets worse and occurs in sudden, uncontrollable bursts where one cough follows the next without a break for breath. The person may turn blue in the face and may have a difficult time breathing. Vomiting after a coughing spell is not uncommon. If your cough and cold symptoms persist for two weeks or your cough is severe as previously described, please see your PCP for assessment/treatment.

Response and Treatment

  • Doctor's office will test for pertussis bacteria
  • Antibiotics will be prescribed if test is positive
  • May return to school after 5 days of antibiotics
  • A doctor's note to return to school is required
  • Cough may continue for weeks after treatment
Tick Bite Recommendations

What to do after a tick bite:

  • Remove the tick as promptly as possible. Tweezers or tick spoons are the preferred method for removal. It is not necessary to dig out any mouthparts still left in the skin. The area around the bite should be cleaned with antiseptic.
  • Identify the tick if possible. Dog ticks in Maine are not known to carry disease.
  • Monitor for symptoms for 30 days after a deer tick bite.

Maine CDC does not generally recommend antibiotics for the prevention of Lyme disease: however, a single dose of doxycycline may be offered by your doctor when all of the following exist:

  • The tick is identified as an engorged deer tick and was attached for at least 24 hours
  • The patient resides in an area where the prevalence of Lyme disease in ticks is greater than 20%
  • Prophylaxis can be started within 72 hours of tick removal
  • There are no contraindications to doxycycline

Even if prophylaxis is given, watch for symptoms for 30 days as it may not be 100% effective in preventing Lyme and will not prevent other tickborne diseases.

Symptoms of early Lyme disease may present as a flu-like illness (fever, chills, sweats, muscle aches, fatigue, nausea and joint pain). Some patients have a rash or Bell’s palsy (facial drooping). Although a rash shaped like a bull’s-eye is considered characteristic of Lyme disease, many people develop a different kind of Lyme rash or none at all.

For additional information: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/vector-borne/lyme/

Head Lice

There has been a lot of press around 'super lice'. Super lice are being described as a new strain of insects that are resistant to over-the-counter treatments. What experts are saying is that this is actually NOT a new breed of lice. When we use a product over and over again for insects, eventually they are just not impacted by it. For this reason, some lice strains are extremely resistant to the treatments we are using.

Lice is a nuisance, not a health concern. We know this is hard for some to hear. Lice do not spread disease. Lice do not jump or fly. Lice are transmitted with close direct head contact with others. Remind your children to not share hair accessories or hats. Also, selfies may allow for the lice to transmit from one head to another.

For more information please read this article from Education Week published online September 4, 2015:
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/09/04/super-lice-shouldnt-keep-students-out-of.html?cmp=eml-contshr-shr

Some symptoms of head lice may include:

  • itching of the head and/or neck;
  • a tickling feeling or a sensation of something moving in the hair;
  • irritability and sleeplessness; and
  • sores on the head caused by scratching. These sores caused by scratching can sometimes become infected with bacteria normally found on a person’s skin.

Parents/Guardians should examine their child's head, especially behind the ears and at the nape of the neck, for crawling lice and nits if your child exhibits symptoms of a head lice. If crawling lice or nits are found, all household members should be examined every 2–3 days. Persons with live (crawling) lice or nits within ¼ inch or less of the scalp should be treated.

For more information go to http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/parents.html

Health Service Announcements

Public Health Update

Health Update 9/2019 Mosquito borne illnesses guidance

Three mosquito-borne illnesses are a local risk in Maine: Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), Jamestown Canyon virus (JCV), and West Nile virus (WNV). These are potentially serious viral infections, spread by the bite of an infected mosquito.

To date in 2019, Maine has not identified any positive human or mosquito pools. Other northeastern states are reporting a very active season for EEE. Massachusetts is reporting one human death and four animal deaths from EEE. Hundreds of mosquito pools in Massachusetts have come back positive for EEE. New Hampshire also reports EEE positive mosquito pools and an EEE positive horse. Massachusetts also reports WNV positive mosquito pools.

The risk for getting a mosquito-borne disease is highest from dusk to dawn and when temperatures are above 50 degrees (and especially above 60 degrees), since these are the conditions when mosquitoes are most actively biting.

Personal Protection

The majority of arboviruses (Eg. West Nile virus or Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus) are spread primarily by the bite of a mosquito. Due to this fact it is important that all Maine citizens take necessary precautions when outside to protect both themselves and their family members.

While it is not necessary to limit any outdoor activities, unless there is evidence of mosquito-borne disease in your area, you can always help to reduce your risk of mosquito bites through personal protection:

  • Avoid being outdoors during peak periods of mosquito activity, such as dawn and dusk.
  • Wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time.
  • Consider using a mosquito repellent, according to directions on the label, when it is necessary to be outdoors when mosquitoes are most active.

Control mosquitoes in and around your home

Many mosquitoes need standing water to lay their eggs. To reduce the mosquito population in and around your home, reduce or eliminate all standing water:

  • Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers.
  • Remove all leaf debris and keep brush trimmed.
  • Drill holes in the bottoms of all recycling containers that are kept outdoors.
  • Make sure roof gutters drain properly, and clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall.
  • Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
  • Change the water in birdbaths frequently.
  • Clean vegetation and debris from the edge of ponds.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs.
  • Drain water from pool covers.
  • Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property.