As of October 10th, there have been 11 confirmed cases of Enterovirus D68 in New Hampshire. A Seabrook 13-year old with a suspected case of Enterovirus D68 is hospitalized in Boston with polio-like symptoms of paralysis that started with cold/flu symptoms.
The best way for Hogarth to keep all the nasties that are out there at bay is a 3-fold plan of attack. Number 1 is frequent and thorough hand washing. Number 2 is maintaining a sanitary environment. Number 3 is staying home when ill until properly diagnosed and the contagious phase of whatever ails you is over.
For the sake of everybody’s health, I am asking that you keep your child at home if s/he is exhibiting early signs of the flu or a cold until we can be sure that what your child has is, indeed, the common cold.
I’d like to share a Hogarth health anecdote with you. About 10 years ago, one of my nephews was diagnosed and treated for osteosarcoma, which is a form of cancer. His treatment included intensive and long-term chemotherapy, which left his immune system shattered for the course of the chemotherapy. If he had contracted the common cold during this period, it could have been devastating for him.
Here’s the Hogarth connection. If I became sick with even a “little” cold, I wouldn’t be able to visit with my nephew, and it was beyond important for me to be able to spend as much time as possible with him and his family. I shared this information with the Hogarth parents, and asked them to keep their children at home when they were actively coughing and sneezing and dripping from a cold. Because they did, we had the lowest rate of absence that year at Hogarth that we’ve ever had. Nothing had a chance to “take hold” and spread through the student population.
I don’t know what direction Enterovirus D68 is going to take in New Hampshire, but I know I want it to steer clear of Hogarth. If we all adopt that 3-fold plan of attack I outlined above, we have an excellent shot at having a healthy year at Hogarth.
My nephew, I’m happy to say, is doing great today.