Information for school principals on swine influenza A (H1N1)

belb.org.uk

Information for school principals on swine influenza A (H1N1)

Q7: Should hand sanitisers be provided in ong>schoolong>s?A7: What is most important is that all ong>schoolong>s have proper hand washing and dryingfacilities in their toilets at all times, including hot and cold water, liquid soap andpaper towels or hot air dryers. It is not necessary to provide hand sanitisers.However should a ong>schoolong> choose to do so, it is important to note that they are not asubstitute ong>forong> good hand washing facilities.Q8: Is it safe ong>forong> pregnant teachers to continue to teach pupils, if a pupil(s) oranother member of staff in ong>schoolong>, has tested positive ong>forong> Swine Flu or havecome into close contact with a positive case?A8: It is important not to consider pregnant women as a group apart. Many of theissues relating to them will apply to those in other ‘at-risk’ groups. The advice tothose in the other at-risk groups would also, thereong>forong>e, apply to pregnant women.The key to managing this group is to ensure that those in the at-risk groups,including pregnant women, are aware of the signs and symptoms of influenza sothat they can seek early medical advice or assessment and, if indicated, treatment.Once it is ubiquitous in the community, pregnant women are just as likely to beexposed to influenza in the community as their workplace. It is sensible ong>forong> pregnantwomen to avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of the flu. In thecontext of pregnant teachers, the emphasis should be on ensuring that symptomaticchildren are identified, isolated and sent home. Good personal hygiene should beapplied whenever possible.The key to risk assessment in the workplace is whether there is an excess risk ascompared to that faced by the ordinary population in the local community. Insummary, ong>forong> pregnant women and other people in the at-risk groups there is not anoverall excess risk associated with teaching compared to the risks that they face ineveryday life in the community.Q9: Is it safe ong>forong> teachers to return to work following illness, if a pupil(s) oranother member of staff in ong>schoolong> has tested positive ong>forong> Swine Flu?A9: The previous answer does, as stated, apply to all those in “at risk” groupsand would thereong>forong>e apply to anyone returning to work following illness.Q10: Where is further inong>forong>mation available?A10: The Public Health Agency Emergency Operations Centre operates between4


9am and 5pm Monday to Friday and can be contacted on 028 90 553 994 or 028 90553 997 or at pha.eoc@hscni.net.Outside of these hours public health service advice (including advice on swine flu)may be accessed by phoning Northern Ireland Ambulance Control on 9040 4045and ask Ambulance control to page the first on-call Public Health Doctor.Please note that both these services are ong>forong> health and social careprofessional staff only and these numbers should not be given to members ofthe public.The swine flu Public Helpline will operates between 9am and 5pm Monday to Fridayon 0800 0514 142.More general inong>forong>mation can be obtained from various websites, including:Public Health Agencywww.publichealth.hscni.netHealth Protection Agencywww.hpa.org.ukThe Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safetywww.dhsspsni.gov.ukThe Department of Educationwww.deni.gov.ukThe World Health Organizationwww.who.intTeachernetwww.teachernet.gov.ukThe official government website ong>forong> Northern Ireland citizens – NI Direct.gov.uk5

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