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 Wellness Committee Meeting Notes

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INFLUENZA is contagious one day prior and five days after onset of symptoms. Per doctor and IDPH recommendation, and school guidelines, if your child is diagnosed with INFLUENZA, they are required to stay home through the 5 days of symptoms. If guided otherwise by a doctor, ARNP, or PA, we ask that you please provide a health provider's note for early return to school. Thank you for your flexibility, and efforts to keep all kids healthy.


Influenza Fact Sheet




Sick Day Guidelines

Making the Right Call

When Your Child is Sick School requires a child to stay home if he or she:

*Has a fever of 100.0 or higher

*Has been vomiting or has diarrhea

*Has symptoms that keep your child from participating in school such as:

-Very tired or lack of appetite

-Cough that he or she can’t control

-Headache, body aches, or earache

-Sore throat


24 hour rule:

*FEVER: Keep your child home until he or she is fever free without the use of fever reducing medications for 24 hours. Returning to school too soon may slow down recovery and make other students ill.

*VOMITING or DIARRHEA: Keep your child home for 24 hours after the LAST time he or she vomited or had diarrhea.

*ANTIBIOTICS: Keep your child home until 24 hours after the first dose of antibiotic or as directed by your physician.


If your child has been diagnosed with influenza, please keep your child home until at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medication. Flu symptoms include: Fever, headache, chills, cough, body aches, congestion, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea(more common in children than adults)

Thank you for making sure your child is ready to return to school! If you have any questions, feel free to contact the school.

Thank you, Elizabeth Shirley School Nurse


Essex Community School District-
Medication at School

It is the policy of the the Essex Community School District to require parent’s permission before medication is given to students during the school day.  If at all possible, we ask that parents make every attempt to give their child/children the medication at home.  However, we understand that there are times medication must be administered at school because of doctor’s orders.  If this is the case, please follow the steps below:


1.  Send a signed permission form to include what the medication is for and any special instructions.  You can find this form on the school website or pick up in the front office.


2.  Send the medication in the original container from the pharmacy to include:


Student’s name

Name of medication


Time to be given

Doctor’s name


Controlled substance schedule II drugs (Ritalin) need to be delivered by the parent/guardian directly to school personnel.  Do not send with the student.




All medications will need to be provided by parents.  The school will not provide any over the counter medications which also includes cough drops.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact the school.  Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.  We are making every effort to insure your child’s safety and good health.


Thank you,

Elizabeth Shirley, RN

School Nurse




Recent plague cases in New Mexico

As of June 28th, three cases of plague have been confirmed in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. All three cases required hospitalization – there have been no deaths. 


Plague is a bacterial disease of rodents (primarily in the southwestern states in the U.S.) and is generally transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas, but can also be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals, including rodents, wildlife and pets. On average, there are seven human plague cases each year in the U.S. Prevention strategies include avoiding wildlife interactions and eliminating possible rodent habitats surrounding dwellings. Restricting pets from free roaming and pet flea control is also recommended.


For more information about plague, visit




Adverse health effects from ingestion of hand sanitizers

Hand sanitizers can be a convenient alternative when soap and water are not available, but ingestion or improper use can be associated with health risks. The National Poison Data System found over 70,000 exposures to hand sanitizers reported in children 12 years and under from 2011 to 2014. Over 90 percent of these exposures were among children 0-5 years old and were almost exclusively oral ingestions (97 percent). Children 6-12 had more intentional exposure to alcohol-based sanitizers, suggesting possible deliberate alcohol abuse.


Be aware of the potential danger associated with ingestion of alcohol hand sanitizers. Make sure alcohol hand sanitizers are used correctly, under adult supervision, and with proper child safety precautions and make sure they are stored out of reach of young children. Clinicians evaluating pediatric patients with clinical signs and symptoms consistent with alcohol toxicity, such as nausea, vomiting, respiratory depression, and drowsiness, or laboratory results consistent with ethanol or isopropanol toxicity, should consider the possibility of an alcohol hand sanitizer ingestion and contact their local poison control center. For more information, visit




Update on carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)

CREs are an emerging threat to public health and efforts are needed to prevent and contain the spread of these highly resistant organisms. Effective January 1, 2017, infections caused by CRE were added as a temporarily reportable disease in Iowa. IDPH defined CRE as follows: Enterobacteriaceae, including the following species: 1) Klebsiella spp., Enterobacter spp., 3) E. coli, or 4) Citrobacter spp., that: are resistant to any one of the following carbapenem antibiotics: imipenem, meropenem, doripenem, or ertapenem, based on current Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institutes Standards (M100) OR demonstrate production of a carbapenemase (enzymes that break down carbapenems and related antibiotics, and make them ineffective). 


Specimens should be submitted to the State Hygienic Laboratory for additional testing for the production of carbapenemase.


Since surveillance began in Iowa, 30 cases of CRE have been reported. Of those, four have been identified as possessing a carbapenemase, including one with the OXA-48 enzyme. Investigations are ongoing to determine additional risk factors and to implement infection prevention measures to stop the spread of CRE in Iowa. For more information on CRE, visit


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Junior High- 712-379-3114
High School- 712-379-3114

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Essex Community School District
111 Forbes St.
Essex, IA 51638 | View Map

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