L'Atelier procedures - Influenza A H1N1

Dear families and employees,

We want all of you to know that we are closely monitoring the developments of the Influenza A H1N1 . We will update this message according to the evolution of the Virus.

It is not our intention to create panic nor overreact to the current situation the world is facing. We must take precautions and act accordingly. We want to remind all parents to please be careful about the information children are receiving from TV, radio, family members, nannies and friends. They are very young and could develop serious stress and anxiety related to this epidemic.

L?Atelier is taking strict precautions to avoid the spread of transmissible illnesses in the school. Please help us follow these directions in a way that does not create panic in the children. We will proceed as normally as possible using play and games.

- Inspect the children and faculty as they arrive to school. In case the teachers notice any symptom related to an infection, the parent will be asked to take the child home immediately. Parents must take their child home.

- If the child gets sick during the day, he/she will be removed from to the class and the teacher will call the parent to come and pick up the child. Make sure all your contacts are updated. Parents must pick up their child within 45 min.

-During the school day, we continue to encourage our students and faculty to thoroughly wash their hands regularly. We also have placed antibacterial hand sanitizers in all high traffic areas, including the main office, playground and Tiki.

- Remind all to cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.

We will try to ?

1. Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.

2. Keep your distance: Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

3. Parents? Stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.

L?Atelier is closely observing the news about the A H1N1 virus evolution. We follow the Miami-Dade County emergency procedures. If the city?s pertinent authorities give the order to close schools, we will do so. Meanwhile, we will make all our possible effort to keep the children and staff healthy.

If we detect a case in our school we will contact the health department and follow their recommendations.

We are aware that many parents travel within the USA and other countries. We ask parents to keep their child at home if any member of the family or friend has being in contact with people traveling to/from areas in the world that have reported cases of
A H1N1. Please help us in this manner by not making exceptions
.

General information about the Influenza A H1N1 virus.

Q: What is A H1N1?

A: It is a contagious respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses. Pigs are hit by regular outbreaks. There are many different types of swine flu and the current cases involve the H1N1 strain of type A influenza virus.

Q: How do humans catch it?

A: Humans can contract the virus, usually if they have been in close contact with pigs. It is also possible for the constantly changing infection to spread from person to person, which has happened in the latest outbreak. Experts believe it spreads in the same way as seasonal flu ? through coughing and sneezing. You cannot catch it through eating pork.

Q: What is the difference between swine flu, avian flu and the flu commonly seen in the UK during the winter?

A: Influenza viruses are commonly circulating in the human and animal environment, with different strains causing illness in humans, bird and pigs. Seasonal influenza is caused by viruses that are adapted to spread in humans. Humans have some natural immunity to the strains that are in common circulation, and this immunity can be boosted by immunization with a vaccine. Avian influenza is caused by influenza viruses adapted for infection in birds. Similarly, swine influenza is caused by influenza viruses adapted for infection in pigs. These illnesses all cause the same respiratory symptoms in sufferers and can be passed between one another.

Q: How dangerous is it?

A: More than 150 people have died and thousands made ill. However, testing has shown that the antiviral drugs oseltamavir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) appear to be effective against the human swine influenza H1N1 strain.

Q: Why should we be worried about it?

A: The World Health Organization warned the outbreak had "pandemic potential" and countries were advised to step up surveillance and preparation in case the infection spreads rapidly. Flu viruses have the ability to change and mutate, making it difficult for drugs manufacturers to ensure effective vaccines are available. The new version of the H1N1 virus is a mix of different animal and human versions of the disease. Mixing can lead to the development of changed viruses to which humans have little immunity.

Q: What is a pandemic?

A: If the flu spreads over a wide geographic area and affects a large proportion of the population it goes beyond an epidemic and becomes a pandemic. According to the Health Protection Agency, influenza pandemic is defined as a new or novel influenza virus that spreads easily between humans. When new influenza viruses are introduced into the environment, humans do not have any natural immunity to protect against them. Therefore, there is a risk that new influenza viruses could develop into a pandemic if the virus passes easily from human-to-human.

Anyone who has recently returned from affected countries should consult a doctor if they notice flu-like symptoms.

The symptoms of Influenza A H1N1 in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human seasonal influenza infection and include:

- Upper respiratory problems
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Coughing
- Headaches
- Fever
- Fatigue
- Muscle aches
- Vomiting
- Diarrhea
- Lack of appetite.

If you have specific questions about the swine influenza, go to http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/ or call 1 (800) 232-4636. Or visit: Miami Dade County Health Department http://www.dadehealth.org/ or call (305) 324-2400. br />

 
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