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Health Office News

Feb. 2019

We have gotten questions about Measles, which has been in the news.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person. It can spread to others through coughing and sneezing. Also, measles virus can live for up to two hours in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed. If other people breathe the contaminated air or touch the infected surface, then touch their eyes, noses, or mouths, they can become infected. Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected.

Infected people can spread measles to others from four days before through four days after the rash appears.

Measles is a disease of humans; measles virus is not spread by any other animal species.

Spread of Measles

  • The majority of people who got measles were unvaccinated.

  • Measles is still common in many parts of the world including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa.

  • Travelers with measles continue to bring the disease into the U.S.

  • Measles can spread when it reaches a community in the U.S. where groups of people are unvaccinated.

Please be advised that if there is a measles outbreak at school and your child has an exemption on file- he/she will need to be excluded from school for a minimum of 21 days. Please feel free to call the health office with any questions.

Mary Gudewich RN

480-892-8624 x305

Tips to fighting germs

According to Mark Pyle, MD, at Banner Health Center-Verrado, in Buckeye, Ariz., a flu shot is key to protecting yourself from the worst illnesses of the season.

He also offers these tips to keep viruses from spreading:

  • Practice certain habits like sneezing or coughing into an elbow. Also, avoid contact with your own eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Wash hands often, especially after blowing your nose or coughing. Be sure to throw away used tissues immediately. To properly wash hands, use warm water and soap. Scrub both hands for at least 20 seconds and dry with a single-use towel.
  • Dozens of surfaces in your home that your family touches every day could have germs. This includes counter tops, telephones, computer keyboards, faucets and doorknobs. Viruses can survive on these surfaces for several hours, so use disinfectant wipes or sprays to eliminate the offending germs.
  • Build up your immune system by eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Also, make sure you get adequate rest and exercise regularly to reduce stress.

By following these tips, you can hopefully reduce the amount of sickness in your family or the length of the illness. 

If parents recognize and quickly treat these conditions, the better chance our children will have a happy—and healthy—school year.

Respiratory infections, such as the flu and common colds (colds), are spread when people come in close contact with sick people and inhale airborne droplets, or come in contact with contaminated surfaces.  Flu and colds symptoms can sometimes be difficult to tell them apart, but consider this:



How it begins





Mild to moderate



None to mild aches

Stuffy, runny nose







None to high grade

None to low grade



Earache/Sinus infection

If symptoms persist or worsen, make an appointment with your healthcare provider to be evaluated.  The flu can be serious for children of all ages, causing them to miss school, activities, or even be hospitalized.  

We take the health of our students seriously and work very hard to keep these viruses from spreading.    We regularly clean frequently touched areas such as door knobs, stair rails, telephones, computer keyboards, and bathroom faucets and fixtures.  We also instruct students and staff to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Take 3 approach to fight the flu:

1.  Get the flu vaccine every year

2.  Take everyday preventative actions to stop the spread of germs:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers when soap and water are not available,

  • Cover coughs with a disposable tissue or cough into their sleeve,

  • Avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth,

  • Avoid  close contact with sick individuals,

  • Avoid sharing cups and eating utensils, and

  • Stay home when sick.

3.  Take flu antiviral drugs if your healthcare provider prescribes them

You can help us maintain a healthy school environment in a variety of ways:

  • Make sure your children receive all recommended immunizations, including an annual flu vaccine,

  • Reinforce all of the above preventive behaviors practiced at school,

  • Make sure children get plenty of exercise, sleep, and healthy food, and

  • Keep sick children home, especially if they have a fever above 100o F, diarrhea, vomiting, or a severe cough.

A couple additional important points:

  • Notify your child’s healthcare provider if your child develops difficulty breathing or a new onset of wheezing, and

  • If your child has asthma, please make sure we have a copy of your child’s Asthma Action Plan.

Important information about preventing the flu can be found at these websites:

  • and 2


  • Find a place near you to get the flu and other vaccines at}

If you have any questions, please contact the school nurse, Mary Gudewich RN, at or

(480) 892-8624 x305.  Together we can have a healthy school year!

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