The information below is provided by the National Public Engagement Team, and the State and Local Public Engagement Team of the U.S. Department of Education.
The United States has been experiencing a nationwide outbreak of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) associated with severe respiratory illness that has been especially harmful to children. Citizens may also have questions about the Ebola virus. To address both public health concerns, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) and our federal health partners have a number of informational resources to share with you.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed information and resources for parents about EV-D68. Below are CDC resources about EV-D68 developed for parents:
· Web Feature, “What Parents Need to Know About Enterovirus D68”
· Drop-in newsletter article (matte article), “Parents: Learn the Facts about Enterovirus D68”
· Fact sheet for parents, “What Parents Need to Know about Enterovirus D68”
Ideas to share these resources:
· Work with your schools to share CDC information with parents:
§ Print and send copies of the fact sheet and/or infographic home with children.
§ E-mail parents links to information on the CDC website.
§ Post links to CDC information on schools’ social media accounts.
· Link to the URLs provided in the list above on your parent-facing webpages.
· Share the infographic or Web Feature with parents over social media. Below are some sample tweets or create your own:
§ Parents, CDC addresses your questions & concerns w/ new educational materials about EV-D68. http://1.usa.gov/1o92Sdx
§ Concerned about #enterovirus? Here’s what you need to know about EV-D68 & respiratory illness. http://1.usa.gov/1sC9Jfc
§ Parents, follow these steps to protect kids, especially those w/ asthma, from EV-D68 & other viruses that cause respiratory illness. http://go.usa.gov/VyzA
· Syndicate content from the CDC website. CDC encourages organizations to mirror CDC’s web text through content syndication rather than copy text onto their websites. Benefits include immediate and automatic updates whenever any changes are made on the CDC site and ensure all content is consistent and current across the Internet. If you’d like to include EV-D68Web content without having to monitor and copy updates, visit Content Syndication for the free one-time setup instructions. EnterovirusD68 is listed under “Syndication Topics.”
· Place the text of the matte article on your website or in e-newsletters and other publications you have that reach parents.
· Work with local child care facilities and organizations in your area to share CDC information with parents:
§ Ask child care centers to place the drop-in article in parent newsletters.
§ Ask child care centers to print and post the fact sheet and/or infographic.
· Encourage parents and community partners to share the fact sheet with doctor’s offices, clinics, faith communities, and other community settings.
Remember, too, as enterovirus season is expected to taper off, flu activity usually begins to increase in October. While there is not a vaccine to prevent illness from enteroviruses, the single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year. Many resources for parents and others can be found on the CDC flu website. CDC recommends that ALL children 6 months old or older get a flu vaccine.
Finally, we know your communities also may have questions about what schools can do to keep students and adults safe from the Ebola virus. The President has made control of Ebola a top national security priority, and we as a nation have spent more than $100 million fighting this outbreak since the first cases were reported last March in Africa. Our national health system has the capacity and expertise to quickly detect and contain this disease and is working with states and school districts to ensure the safety of our students and school employees. As you likely know, the CDC is continually updating its information on Ebola; information that can be found here: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/index.html.
Our Department’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students has a number of materials available regarding Readiness and Emergency Management of Schools in crisis situations, and those materials can be found here: http://rems.ed.gov/. One resource at this web link is steps the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) has taken to keep parents and community partners continually updated on the Ebola situation there, including establishing a website: http://www.dallasisd.org/healthupdates.
Additional materials developed by the DISD Communications Team included there are: