Ashdown, Ark. School District has sent a letter to parents informing them of 18 cases of mono reported among students in the last week.
According to the letter posted on the district’s website, a notice was posted last week that an isolated group of six high school students tested positive for mononucleosis. The district is now sending the letter to inform parents that nine new cases have been reported at the high school and three at the elementary.
The letter states that although the health department doesn’t require the school to tell parents, they are communicating the information to prevent the spread of this virus.
Full text of the letter follows:
Dear Parent or Guardian:
Last week the Ashdown School District sent out a notice lhat an isolated group of six student athletes on the High School campus tested positive for mononucleosis. Due to the isolated nature of the situation, the district sent out a notice to our web page and our social media page.
This letter is to inform you that there are currently nine new confirmed cases at the high school involving general students; as well as three new confirmed cases at our elementary campus. Due to the current increase in students affected we are personally communicating to you information to prevent the spread of this virus.
We have been and are currently working with local and state health department officials on this matter. Although the Health Department does not require the school to report these types of symptoms, we want you to be aware of this situation. Mononucleosis is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus and is commonly known as “Mono”. The following is information provided by the CDC website.
What are the symptoms of mononucleosis?
Symptoms are usually mild or with no symptoms in young children. Older children and adults may have a fever, sore throat, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes. These symptoms may last from one to several weeks.
How is mononucleosis spread?
Mononucleosis is spread by person-to-person contact with the saliva of an infected person. This could be through ways such as kissing on the mouth or sharing objects contaminated with saliva (i.e. toys, toothbrushes, cups, bottles).
How is mononucleosis diagnosed and treated?
Mononucleosis is usually diagnosed by a health care provider based on the symptoms and then confirming the diagnosis through laboratory testing of a blood sample. No specific treatment is available. Most people with mononucleosis require only general comfort measures to help ease symptoms, including getting plenty of rest.
How do you control the spread?
Make sure adults and children wash hands frequently and thoroughly. Avoid sharing of objects contaminated with saliva such as drinking cups, eating utensils or toys. Discourage kissing children on the mouth. Clean and sanitize toys and utensils after each child has used them. Excluding a child diagnosed with mononucleosis from school or childcare is generally not necessary unless he/she meets other exclusion criteria or is not able to participate in normal activities.
How do I get more information?
For more information about mononucleosis, contact your healthcare provider.
Our nurses and district administrators are monitoring this situation daily and want you to know that the health and safety of your child is of utmost importance to us. We will keep you updated of any changes in the situation.
Jason Sanders, Superintendent