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Infectious Disease

Background

Principals and school staff can contact the health unit to report an increase in illness within a student and/or staff population at a school. An increase of illness can be seen within the whole school, or just within a classroom.   Most often these illness are either respiratory (e.g. colds or influenza) or gastrointestinal (nausea, vomiting and diarrhea). Educators play a key role in preventing the spread of common childhood diseases by educating students and their caregivers on infection prevention and control.

Infection prevention and control education to students and their care givers should include:

  • When and how to conduct hand hygiene - hand washing with soap and warm water for 15 seconds or using alcohol based hand rub “hand sanitizer” for 15 seconds when hands are not visibly soiled
  • Respiratory etiquette (covering coughs and sneezes)

  • Excluding students from school if they are sick
  • Keeping student's immunizations up to date.

Infection prevention and control programs are important in maintaining healthy schools. Educators, School Boards, health care providers, public health and parents/guardians: we are all partners in preventing the spread of infectious diseases in school settings.

SMDHU Programs

The health unit offers a variety of services to support student health and infection prevention, including information related to common childhood illnesses, a list of reportable diseases and notification processes, and support with infection prevention and control in schools.

In addition to these services, the health unit also offers a variety of programs and services for secondary schools (PDF), covering a wide range of health-related topics.

Additional Resources

  • Infection Prevention Resources – These resources are available for order and/or download through the health unit.  Resources include:  hand washing and hand sanitizing signs in both English and French, hand hygiene videos and slide shows.

Visit the infectious diseases section of the health unit’s website for more information related to reportable diseases, infection prevention (including hand hygiene), beauty and body art (tattoos, piercings and spa services) and more.



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