A large number of Students from Cochrane Christian Academy sick with respiratory symptoms has Alberta Health Services advising parents and guardians to be help prevent the spread of respiratory illness by taking proper measures to keep others safe.

A respiratory illness outbreak in Cochrane Christian Academy leaves a large number of students sick with respiratory symptoms, Alberta Health Services (AHS) advises parents to keep an eye out for their children to help prevent the spread.

In notice letter sent by the Communicable Disease Control Outbreak Team of Public Health on Nov.21, it advises parents and guardians to be wary of symptoms, proper treatment, and spread prevention.

Respiratory illness symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, lost or altered sense of taste or smell, runny nose or nasal congestion and fever. It may also include fatigue, muscle ache or joint pain, headache, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Germs that cause respiratory illness are easily spread between students through coughing and secretions from the nose and mouth. AHS advises students to regularly wash or clean hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or using soap and water for at least 20 seconds, covering coughs and sneezes with their sleeves or tissues, and throwing used tissues away immediately and then cleaning hands.

AHS also advises that wearing a high-quality, well-fitting mask can reduce the risk of becoming sick and can help protect others from being exposed. Student’s decisions regarding masks will be supported regardless of their choice.

Students’ respiratory illness symptoms are advised to stay home from school until symptoms improve., they have not had a fever for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication, and are well enough to resume normal activities.

Mild symptoms shown in children who develop respiratory illness can usually recover from home without any special treatment by getting extra rest and drinking plenty of fluids. Parents can find additional resources and advice from Alberta Pediatric Emergency Medicine experts by visiting AHS Health, Education and Learning (HEAL) website.

Additionally, AHS outlines that immunization is an important step in protecting yourself and others from influenza and COVID-19. For information on booking appointments, please visit ahs.ca/vaccine. For additional information about respiratory illness call Health LINK Alberta at 811.

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