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Influenza alert issued to schools

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Department for Education and Child Development has issued an alert to all 900 public schools and preschools to be on the lookout for symptoms of influenza among students and staff.

Anne Millard, DECD Executive Director Preschool and School Improvement said some DECD sites are seeing high rates of absence.

“We have issued the alert to ensure that principals, teachers and support staff are across the very latest public health advice so they can take steps to try and keep their school communities healthy and safe,” Ms Millard said.

“Every principal, teacher and SSO will be on the lookout for ‘flu symptoms’ and sites will ensure that Infection Control Procedures are being followed.

“We are also reminding parents that it is important that all sick children stay home from school until they are completely recovered so they do not spread the illness to their peers.”

The department is working with colleagues in SA Health, which has advised the public flu numbers are continuing to increase across the state.

SA Health Chief Medical Officer Professor Paddy Phillips said more than 5,700 cases of flu have been reported this year, which is almost three times the number recorded for the same time last year.

“With the peak of the flu season yet to arrive, it is important that everyone plays their part in reducing flu in the community by getting a flu vaccination, including school children,” Professor Phillips said.

“Flu immunisations are available from GPs, pharmacies and other providers, and I urge all parents to seriously consider immunising their children this winter. Flu immunisations have excellent coverage against circulating flu strains.”