Thursday, April 30, 2009

MCPS/MCPH Press Release - Swine Flu - April 30, 2009

The following joint press release regarding Swine Flu was issued by Montgomery County Public Schools and Montgomery County Public Health. Contained herein are precautions for preventing seasonal flu and other communicable disease. This information is pertinent to all residents. Community Managers and Homeowner Association/Tenant Associations should pass this information along or develop a similar document for their members to be promulgated at community meetings and in community newsletters.

850 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, Maryland 20850
(301) 279-3381
April 29, 2009

Dear Parents/Guardians:

We are writing to inform you of a health issue that currently is receiving considerable attention in the media and is understandably a concern for parents and families. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a public health alert due to the increase in reported cases of Swine Flu in the U.S. The Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is closely monitoring the outbreak. It is important to note that as of today, there are no confirmed cases of Swine Flu in Montgomery County or the state of Maryland.

Please be assured that Montgomery County Public Schools and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services are monitoring the Swine Flu outbreak. All principals are receiving information and school nurses also are working with school staff on this issue.

You and your family can take the following general precautions for preventing seasonal flu and other communicable disease:

• Cover your nose and mouth with your sleeve or a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also are effective.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread that way.
• Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
• If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

Health situations such as this Swine Flu outbreak can cause anxiety for children and parents. As parents and educators, we want to protect our children and ensure their safety. One of the most effective things that we can do is to remain calm and positive. Our children need to know that we are dealing with this situation proactively and they are safe. Please monitor your child's feelings and behavior for any signs of anxiety.

Additional information about this issue is available on the Montgomery County Public Schools website at and on the Montgomery County government website at www.montgomerycount Thank you for your attention on this important matter.

Jerry D. Weast, Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools

Ulder J. Tillman, M.D., MPH
Montgomery County Health Officer
and Chief of Public Health

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