VIDEO: Nursing director answers questions about Ebola and influenza.
Based on direction from Dallas County Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the five students that had come in contact with the initial Ebola patient were quarantined for 21 days. During that time they did not attend school, but were provided services to help them continue their education in the best way possible.
Education about Ebola and its impact continued at the impacted schools and across the district. Suzanne Kubelka, nursing director for Dallas ISD, worked closely with health professionals to relay the most important information to students, staff and families.
The district was also noticed at the national level as well for their efforts. National Association School Nurse President Carolyn Duff noted the district’s work:
“National Association of School Nurses (NASN) applauds the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) response to the recent Ebola occurrence in Dallas, Texas. DISD Health Services worked in concert with Dallas County Health and Human Services, as well as the Dallas County Emergency Operations Center following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to plan for the protection of the health and wellbeing of the DISD school community. The school district provided body temperature scanners to district school nurses to facilitate assessments of students feeling ill with flu-like symptoms, and widely disseminated education and communication tools to students, families and staff. The Texas School Nurse Organization kept school nurses updated and linked to the most current news and processes related to Ebola virus. The response was efficient and timely.”
As the Ebola challenge continued, Dallas ISD used the increased attention to explain the differences between Ebola and a far more familiar health concern, influenza. In a special video on the Hub, Kubelka explained the basic steps to lower the risk of contracting either disease.
“When someone is sick, you want to limit your contact the best that you can,” Kubelka said. “I’m not (just) speaking about Ebola here, but in general about health and wellness. Be sure you wash your hands, use hand sanitizer and in the case of the flu, you want to use cough etiquette.”