An update about the Corona Virus from Dr. Linda Sewell, Board Chair:
Although this seems very frightening, and yes there is some risk, the risk to this community is small at this point. Since there are cases just a 6-hour drive away from us, there is a potential that this virus could enter our community. The CDC is recommending that all confirmed cases be quarantined to prevent spread. As a school, we need to do the same.
First, the facts.
- This is a virus that causes fever, cough and shortness of breath.
- The symptoms are very similar to the Flu (Influenza). If you have not gotten a flu vaccine, they are still available. You may want to consider this.
- Symptoms can appear 2 days to 2 weeks after exposure.
- It seems to be spread with close person to person contact with someone that is infected. It is spread through respiratory droplets, ie sneeze or cough. It may be spread airborne. This means it is easier to spread as it can “linger in the air”. There have been reported cases of being able to spread the virus before symptoms appear, but this is rare. It is most likely that spread occurs when there are symptoms.
- Most people will have minor symptoms, but this illness can become severe and for some can be life-threatening.
- There is no evidence that children or pregnant women are at higher risk. Those who have the worst course are people with compromised immune systems.
- There are confirmed cases of the virus in the Seattle area and Northern California. There was a death of a man in Seattle who was confirmed to have the virus. In neither of these areas is there any report of widespread virus spread.
- There may be a vaccine available soon, but no concrete news about when or where we will be able to get it.
If your child or anyone in the family has symptoms of fever, cough, or shortness of breath, I encourage you to stay home (the entire family).
- If you know that you have been in contact with someone with the virus, stay home.
- If the symptoms get severe and you think that you need help, go to the emergency room.
- Most people who get this virus will have minor symptoms like the flu that can be managed at home.
- We realize that people with symptoms will probably not have Corona Virus, but at this point we need to be as cautious as possible.
- If you have cough and fever it could be either flu or corona virus. Please do not expose other people by going to work or school with these symptoms.
I would encourage all of you to prepare a few things at home.
- You should have adequate food and water so that you do not have to go out while you have symptoms. You may want to consider getting masks to prevent spread.
- If we begin to see cases in Roseburg we may have to take further action. We will communicate accordingly!
Dr. Linda Sewell, Board Chair
Remember to take everyday preventive actions that are always recommended to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible. Stay home if you are sick.
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol.