Parents received a letter from Easterseals -Stuttgart on Friday informing them that a child at their school had tested positive for the CoronaVirus. According to the letter, the virus was not the deadly strain that is going around in China.
“We wanted to inform the parents because we understand the concerns parents would have,” said Karen Brag, Vice President for Children’s Programs for Easter Seals. “This strain is the one that has been around all the time.”
According to the letter, there are several strains of the CoronaVirus that has been around for a very long time in the United States with symptoms similar to a fever virus or flu.
According to the World Health Organization, Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, an infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death but that is not the case for this diagnosis.
“The flu and CoronaVirus is high this year and we are taking additional measures to make sure the children, faculty and staff are protected,” said Karen.
Daily routines already implemented at Easter Seals include disinfecting the rooms, toys, surfaces, tabletops and frequent handwashing for the staff and kids. A cleaning service also comes every night.
“We also pay more attention to surfaces everyone touches such as doorknobs and light switches,” said Karen. “We try to stay proactive to protect everyone from getting sick.”
World Health Organization standard recommendations to prevent infection spread includes regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs.
They also suggest avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
“Our standard protocol is the person must be free of fever and vomiting for at least 24 hours,” said Karen. “Some instances will require a note from a physician before returning.”
Karen adds being proactive will ensure the safety of everyone.
“If we notice any signs or symptoms we will check the child’s temperature,” said Karen. “We also have siblings that attend here. If a sibling is out we will call the parents just to make sure the sibling that is out is not sick.”
The letter stated that it was safe for the kids to come to school on Monday and if your child starts to show signs of a fever virus or flu to take them to the doctor.