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 Providing a Safe and Healthy Learning Environment for Students: Fall 2017 Health Update

In San Diego County schools, our first priority is to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for our students. After all, we can’t educate children if they’re not in school and healthy! With that in mind, here is an update on some important health issues facing the San Diego County community.

Flu

According to the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, the flu season has started earlier than usual this year. Sometimes an early start to the season also means more flu in the community. This can be very serious. The recommendation is for everyone over the age of 6 months to receive an annual flu vaccine. Most insurance companies provide this for free to their members. Flu vaccinations will also be available at no cost through public health clinics and other venues around the county. Find a list of clinics.

Hepatitis A

San Diego is in the midst of a Hepatitis A public health emergency. As of Sept. 19, there have been 444 confirmed cases and 16 deaths related to the outbreak. The good news is that most vaccinated students have received the Hepatitis A vaccine; although it is not required for school, it is a recommended routine vaccine. The bad news is that most adults have not been vaccinated for this. However, at this time there is a targeted effort in our community to get as many people as possible vaccinated to limit further spread of the disease.

Kaiser Permanente is offering the vaccine free to members, and the City of San Diego has partnered with San Diego County to provide free vaccination clinics at public libraries: 

• Monday, Sept. 25 – 1 to 4 p.m. – Logan Heights Branch Library, 567 S. 28th St. 

• Tuesday, Sept. 26 – noon to 2 p.m. – Skyline Hills Library, 7900 Paradise Valley Road 

• Friday, Sept. 29 – 2 to 5 p.m. – Valencia Park/Malcolm X Library, 5148 Market St. 

• Monday, Oct. 9 – 1 to 4 p.m. – Logan Heights Branch Library, 567 S. 28th St. 

• Tuesday, Oct. 17 – 2 to 5 p.m. – San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd. 

• Friday, Oct. 20 – 2 to 5 p.m. – Valencia Park/Malcolm X Library, 5148 Market St. 

• Tuesday, Nov. 21 – 2 to 5 p.m. – San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd. 

• Tuesday, Dec. 19 – 2 to 5 p.m. – San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd.


Information about these clinics can be found by calling 211 or by visiting 211SanDiego.org

Groups at high risk of contracting Hepatitis A include fire, emergency, and law enforcement personnel; food handlers; health care personnel and professionals; homeless persons and those service workers working directly with them; individuals working directly in substance abuse treatment programs; and public transit workers. 

If you are in or know someone in any of the above listed categories, please take advantage of this opportunity to protect yourselves and your families.   

Head Lice

Head lice are a nuisance, not a disease. They are ever-present in our communities, and once children are back in school, are more likely to be “shared.” Adult females lay eggs (called nits) by gluing them to the hairs near the base. Lice do not fly or jump and can be detected by parting the hair and examining near the scalp, most commonly near the ears and the back of the neck.

Parents/guardians should regularly check their child’s hair for the presence of nits, which are very tiny ovals generally found on the side of a hair, and live lice. Adult head lice are grey or brown, wingless insects approximately 1/8 inch in length. 

There are many treatment products on the market, from over-the-counter options like RID and NIX, to prescriptions like Ovide, Spinosad, Natroba, and Sklice. Effective treatment also includes frequent combing of the hair to remove live lice and nits using a good metal comb. 


Thank you for your attention to this important health information. Wishing you a healthy fall.