The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has sent a health alert to all New Jersey schools and child care venues asking them to be on increased watch for influenza-like cases in the upcoming weeks.
This health advisory is one of the state’s increased monitoring actions in response to the recent cases of swine flu that have been identified in the United States and Mexico. New Jerset now has five identified cases of swine flu as of today.
“As a readiness measure, we have reached out to schools and all child care facilities to ask them to be on the lookout for children exhibiting signs of influenza,” said Health and Senior Services Commissioner Heather Howard. “We are asking these facilities to send children home if they are showing signs of respiratory illness and fever. We are also reminding them to report suspected cases of swine influenza or outbreaks of any influenza-like illness to their local health department.”
“We are working closely with the Department of Health and Senior Services to ensure that all school districts remain up to date and well informed. School district officials should maintain close contact with their local health departments and pass on preventive information to families,’’ said Education Commissioner Lucille E. Davy.
The Department is recommending that sick children remain at home until 24-48 hours after the symptoms end.
Commissioner Howard also reminds the public that there are precautions that everyone should take to reduce the chance of getting ill:
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- See your physician if your illness continues.
“The Department is continuing to monitor the situations around the country and Mexico and is working very closely with our federal, regional and local health partners,” said Commissioner Howard. “We have plans in place in the event of a more widespread outbreak. The most important thing New Jersey residents can do now is to stay informed and continue to follow those preventive measures.”