October 4, 2012
Two new cases of strep throat have recently been diagnosed; one in Kindergarten and one in Grade 5. Please review the following information from the Newton Health Department.
Karin Lieberman, R.N.
John Ward Elementary School
10 Dolphin Rd.
Newton Centre, MA 02459
617.559.6453 - direct line
Health and Human Services Department
Dori Zaleznik, MD, Commissioner
1294 Centre Street
Newton, MA 02459-1544
Telephone 617.796.1420 Fax 617.552.7063
City of Newton
Setti D. Warren
Information about strep throat:
Strep throat is a sore throat caused by Streptococcus bacteria. These bacteria are spread through nose and mouth droplets. It is a common illness in children. Most sore throats, however, are caused by viruses and are not treated with antibiotics. This is why your child should be tested if she or he has symptoms.
These are the precautions to take in an effort to control the spread of this illness in the school environment:
- Watch your child for signs of a sore throat and other signs of strep, which are headache, fever, stomach ache, swollen and tender neck glands.
- If your child develops a sore throat and any of these other signs, please see your health care provider and inform her or him that there are children with strep throat in your child's class.
- Ask to have your child tested for strep throat. If strep is found, your child should receive treatment.
Why is it important that your child receive treatment?
- Treatment reduces spread. If your child is not treated, or not treated long enough, she or he may continue to spread the infection to other members of your family and to other children.
- Treatment with antibiotics usually can prevent rheumatic fever. Although it is rare, some children with strep develop rheumatic fever, which causes abnormality of the heart valves and inflammation of the joints.
- Treatment also will prevent other rare, but possibly serious complications from a strep infection.
When can an infected child come back to school?
Children with strep infections may return to school after taking the prescribed medicine, for at least 24 hours, and there is no fever.
What can parents do to prevent the spread of strep throat at home?
- Make certain that all your family members thoroughly wash hands after wiping noses and before eating or preparing food.
- Wash dishes thoroughly in hot, soapy water or in a dishwasher.
- Do not allow sharing of food or eating utensils that are put into the mouth.
For detailed information about strep throat see www.cdc.gov (Health Topics A-Z). We are asking you to become part of our public health effort to prevent the spread of strep throat.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Cornelia Culici, RN, BSN, NCSN