Monitoring the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

Please note this news article will be updated during the Tet Holiday week:
Update 27 January:

In the face of the unfolding CoronaVirus global crisis, the UNIS Crisis Response Team has remained in regular contact over the holiday period and has decided to take the following measures to protect our community as we return from the Tet Holiday:

  1. To prepare for school to open on Monday February 3, campus will remain closed for the entire Tet Holiday. Open campus, originally scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday has been cancelled.

  1. We are following our pandemic response School Operating Regulations and ensuring we have appropriate measures in place for the current level of the outbreak as well as any changes that may occur. The plan includes procedures for all aspects of the school including hygiene, sanitation, access to campus, communication and possible online/off-campus learning provision. More details will be communicated prior to the start of school.

  1. Tournament and Event Cancellation Updates:

It has been decided to cancel our hosting of the APAC Basketball tournament which was scheduled for the week after the break. Like many other international schools in the area we cannot at this time take any risk to our community which can reasonably be avoided.

Our students will not be travelling to the international events scheduled immediately after the Tet break which have been cancelled, and it is unlikely that those scheduled throughout the month of February will take place.

February event status summary (January 27 12:00):

  • APAC Swimming – Cancelled
  • APAC Basketball at UNIS – Cancelled
  • AMIS (Band and Orchestra) – Cancelled
  • MRISA Basketball (HCMC) – tbd
  • APAC Band – tbd
  • APAC Theatre – tbd
  • MRISA Soccer – tbd
  • Model United Nations at UNIS – tbd

In the meantime, as you travel in the region please continue to follow the guidelines shared by our School Health Centre below to limit your exposure and protect the safety of your family and our community.

HEALTH TIPS FOR TRAVEL:

  • Choose the window seat to minimize contact with others.
    You’re more likely to get sick if you sit within one or two rows of a sick traveler, but you can’t predict this in advance. In general, no matter where you end up, you’ll want to avoid as much contact with other people as you can.
  • Turn on your air vent.
    While you aren’t likely to catch something from the recycled air, you may still be at risk from airborne pathogens hovering near you. So turn the air vent to low or medium and aim it to blow down into your lap. This will hopefully direct those germs away from your face.
  • Wipe down your tray table, armrest, and seat.
    Bad news: The airline does not clean your accommodations nearly as often as they should. Researchers have found that the seat pocket and armrests are some of the germiest spots on planes, though the in-flight entertainment screen, tray table, and other areas of your seat follow not far behind.
  • Avoid in-flight magazines, blankets, and pillows.
    Like those seat surfaces, there’s no guarantee these items have been cleaned recently. You’re probably best off avoiding them altogether. If you tend to get chilly, just bring your own sweater.
  • Wear a Surgical Mask.
    This will help protect you from large droplet particles, and if your flight is a long one, you will need to change it (every 8 hours is an approximate recommendation.)

USEFUL LINKS:

PERSONAL HEALTH PRECAUTIONS:

  • Hand washing is your number 1 defence!
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Use hand sanitizer, even after washing your hands.
  • Rest well, especially if you have a long flight.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

After you land, don’t let down your guard. Remember, while your actual flight may make up the bulk of your travel, you’re also in close proximity to other travelers in the airport, taxis, and other parts of your day. So don’t get complacent once you’re off the plane.

RETURNING FROM THE HOLIDAYS:

  • Please DO NOT send your child to School if they are sick, you are putting other students and staff at risk if you do so!
  • If your child is sick or you are concerned, please contact the School Health Centre for further instructions.

 
Update 25 January: The APAC Swimming tournament (and all other APAC events in China) has been cancelled and our students will not be travelling for this competition.
In addition we have alerted our colleagues in China and Hong Kong that we cannot host their students should the APAC Basketball event at UNIS still happen (scheduled for February 5). The situation is being monitored closely and that decision will be made later in the week.
Our student athletes and families involved in hosting have been informed.

 

Posted 24 January: Due to the news of the Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) outbreak originating in China, we would like to reassure you that we are monitoring the situation closely and planning for possible School responses to protect our community should the situation worsen.

At this time (January 24 14:00), there are 2 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus (nCoV) reported in the news in Vietnam. Today, schools in China have also started to report receiving direction from the government for the cancellation of non-essential events, and we know that one school at least has cancelled hosting tournaments.

This is a fast developing situation and we will be monitoring it closely and keeping our community updated during the break.

We have international tournaments planned immediately after the Tet Holiday which will be impacted. Also, depending on the developing situation, schools may be further impacted following the Lunar New Year national holidays in Asia. We are working in collaboration with health agencies and our international school colleagues for an effective and responsible response.

In the meantime, as some of you are preparing to travel during the holidays, please be aware of the international concern around the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak and take note of some advice from our School Health Centre.

HEALTH TIPS FOR TRAVEL:

  • Choose the window seat to minimize contact with others.
    You’re more likely to get sick if you sit within one or two rows of a sick traveler, but you can’t predict this in advance. In general, no matter where you end up, you’ll want to avoid as much contact with other people as you can.
  • Turn on your air vent.
    While you aren’t likely to catch something from the recycled air, you may still be at risk from airborne pathogens hovering near you. So turn the air vent to low or medium and aim it to blow down into your lap. This will hopefully direct those germs away from your face.
  • Wipe down your tray table, armrest, and seat.
    Bad news: The airline does not clean your accommodations nearly as often as they should. Researchers have found that the seat pocket and armrests are some of the germiest spots on planes, though the in-flight entertainment screen, tray table, and other areas of your seat follow not far behind.
  • Avoid in-flight magazines, blankets, and pillows.
    Like those seat surfaces, there’s no guarantee these items have been cleaned recently. You’re probably best off avoiding them altogether. If you tend to get chilly, just bring your own sweater.
  • Wear a Surgical Mask.
    This will help protect you from large droplet particles, and if your flight is a long one, you will need to change it (every 8 hours is an approximate recommendation.)

USEFUL LINKS:

PERSONAL HEALTH PRECAUTIONS:

  • Hand washing is your number 1 defence!
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Use hand sanitizer, even after washing your hands.
  • Rest well, especially if you have a long flight.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

After you land, don’t let down your guard. Remember, while your actual flight may make up the bulk of your travel, you’re also in close proximity to other travelers in the airport, taxis, and other parts of your day. So don’t get complacent once you’re off the plane.

RETURNING FROM THE HOLIDAYS:

  • Please DO NOT send your child to School if they are sick, you are putting other students and staff at risk if you do so!
  • If your child is sick or you are concerned, please contact the School Health Centre for further instructions.

Influenza is here!

Incidence of the flu has sharply risen on campus over the past week.

Please read the following;

Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk of serious flu complications.  There are two main types of influenza (flu) virus: Types A and B. The influenza A and B viruses that routinely spread in people (human influenza viruses) are responsible for seasonal flu epidemics each year.

The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.

Preventing Seasonal Flu

The first and most important step in preventing flu is to get a flu vaccine each year. Flu vaccine has been shown to reduce flu related illnesses and the risk of serious flu complications that can result in hospitalization or even death. CDC also recommends everyday preventive actions (like staying away from people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes and frequent handwashing) to help slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory (nose, throat, and lungs) illnesses, like the flu.

How Flu Spreads

Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes.

Flu Symptoms

Influenza (flu) can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Flu is different from a cold. Flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • muscle or body aches
  • headaches
  • fatigue (tiredness)
  • some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

What should I do if I get sick?

Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.

  • Hand washing is a powerful antidote to illness​. Wash hands with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • ​When coughing or sneezing, cover mouth with tissue or turn away from people, and cough into the shoulder or crook of the elbow. Throw the tissue in the trash bin after using.​
  • ​Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If having flu-like symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone.
  • An oral temperature of 38 ° Celsius or 100.4° Fahrenheit or higher is considered a fever. Exclusion: All students/teachers presenting to the School Health Centre with a fever will be required to go home and not return for 24hrs after the last normal temperature (without taking any oral medication to reduce the fever). If no fever; but appears unwell the person is to remain at home until they are better.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.

If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a high risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your healthcare provider (doctor, physician assistant, etc.).

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/keyfacts.htm  for more information.

Happy Holiday from the School Health Centre

Do not be in a daze these holidays. Be aware and be fair to your body. Get to know yourself and find the right balance for you.

 

This is a good time to deepen and clarify your love and family connections. Be a supportive friend, and ask for support if you need it. Take care of one another. Give it a try and your spirit will be calmed and can also fly free of the burdens of time.

Stay open to your creativity. Do new things to improve your health, such as a treatment like massage or trying new, healthy foods or climb Mt Everest.

 

Maintain your cornerstones of health. These include a good diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and minimal stress, including being able to relate well to family, friends, and co-workers.

 

Exercise. Exercise activity is crucial now as in any season. As the weather cools, stretching is even more important, as is having indoor exercises you can do. Yoga and other flexibility-enhancing exercises are helpful at keeping us feeling youthful. “We are as young as our spine is flexible.” A vital body gets sick less often. Also, meditate and explore your inner world and dreams in your restful and recharging sleep.

Use nutritional supplements. They can be used to support your health as well. Immune supportive nutrients may help you prevent common illnesses. Taking some echinacea now can be helpful. Taking vitamins C and E along with selenium and zinc daily can also offer some immune support and help clear your body of certain toxins.

Enjoy safe travels. Avoid dehydration and eat well, which may involve bringing water and appropriate food/snacks with you on the plane or in your car.  Plan your trip, be prepared. Good sleep, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and feelings of love and appreciation can also help support your immune system.

Take a rest. It is important to rest when you can because the holiday season can be demanding. Do not run down your batteries before December 31. Kindle your inner flame and firepower, which is protective from the invasion of harsh climates and germs. The winter blues comes partly from a loss of this fire energy. Shifting and balancing with the Seasons is vital to Staying Healthy.

HAPPY AND SAFE HOLIDAYS FROM THE SCHOOL HEALTH CENTRE

Jo, Tess, and Lan Anh

From the School Health Centre

Reminder of our School Policies on illness – This protects the health and wellbeing of ALL students and staff.

CONJUNCTIVITIS (pink eye)

If you suspect your child has conjunctivitis please seek medical advice.

Symptoms of conjunctivitis are:

  • Red eyes
  • Watery discharge
  • A yellow or green discharge common in bacterial infections
  • Feeling of grit or sand
  • Itchy eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Crusts that form on the eyelid overnight

Exclusion from School: The Nurse shall not exclude those whose conjunctivitis is mild or associated with a cold or allergy. For cases considered to be viral or bacterial then the School Nurse should direct to medical evaluation.

Findings That Help to Differentiate Cause:

Allergic: discharge remains watery; bilateral

Bacterial: the common meaning of “pink eye”: purulent drainage (pus)-thick, yellow to greenish yellow color and more crusting during sleep; usually begins in one eye and spread to the other by hand, contaminated eye mascara, etc. often begins in one eye but progresses to the other eye. This is contagious but less easily transmitted to others than viral.

Viral: usually less severe, watery discharge but may be thick and white to pale yellow; lasts 3-5 days. Most often in both eyes. This is highly contagious but does not require antibiotics.

All three may occur with the common cold.

FEVER

An oral temperature of 38 ° Celsius or 100.4° Fahrenheit or higher is considered a fever.

Exclusion from School:  All students/teachers presenting to the School Health Centre with a fever will be required to go home and not return for 24hrs after the last normal temperature (without taking any oral medication to reduce the fever). If no fever; but appears unwell the person is to remain at home until they are better.

VOMITING/DIARRHEA 

If your child has vomiting or diarrhea, please keep them home for 24 hours after last vomit/diarrhea episode.

HEAD LICE 

Parents, please remember to do frequent inspections of your child’s head in order to prevent lice infestations. With your help, we can keep lice to a minimum.

Children found to have live lice will be required to commence treatment. Once treatment has commenced, children will be able to return to school. The discovery of nits or live lice should not cause the student to be sent home from school or to be isolated at school. Parents will be notified and advised of the required management. Students may be transported home as usual.

For more information please come by the School Health Centre (B9, or we are available via phone or email

Phone: 02473004505

shc@unishanoi.org

Sore Throats…

COUGH……COLDS……ahhhh chooo……….and the dreadful FLU!

This week we have seen many students, teachers and parents with symptoms of sore throats, cough, colds and runny nose. Let us try keep our students in the classroom and not at home by having a look at some health reminders for this time of the year when those little germs are out and about.

Cold, flu and respiratory illness are caused by different viruses. They have similar flu like symptoms and can be difficult to tell the differences. In general, flu is worse than the common cold and symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme tiredness and a dry cough are more common and intense. Colds are milder than the flu. People with colds tend to snort, sniffle and sneeze and they don’t result in serious health problems like pneumonia and bacterial infections.

Sore Throats
Sore throats make it painful to swallow and feels dry and scratchy.  A sore throat is a frequent symptom of the common cold or other respiratory tract infection.

Causes
Most sore throats are caused by viruses, like the ones that cause cold or flu.  Other sore throats like strep throat are caused by bacteria; which will require review by a Doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Other causes
Allergies, dry air, pollution (airborne or chemical)

Smoking and exposure to 2nd hand smoke. Contact with other sick people.  NOT WASHING YOUR HANDS, not covering your cough or sneezes.

Signs and Symptoms of a viral infection accompanied by a sore throat
Sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, mild headache, mild body aches, runny nose, low grade fever.

See a Doctor if:

  • Sore throat more than 1 week
  • Difficulty in swallowing or breathing
  • Temperature 38 Celsius or 100 F
  • Pus on the back of the throat
  • Rash
  • Blood in saliva or phlegm
  • Symptoms of dehydration, like – dry mouth, sleepiness
  • Decrease urination, muscle weakness, headache, dizziness
  • If your child has had contact with someone with strep throat or reoccurring sore throats
  • You as a parent are not sure and need advice

How can you help?

  • Sore throat – ice chips and lozenges (visit; www.cdc.gov to see if over counter lozenges are safe for your child).  Keep up your fluids.
  • Ear Pain – warm cloth over the ear that hurts.
  • Headache – res, oral pain relief
  • Runny nose and Sinus Pain – Warm compress over nose and forehead to relieve nasal congestion. Breathe in steam from a bowl of hot water (always supervise your child) or run a warm shower and inhale the steam. Clean humidifier or cool mist vaporizer. Consider getting the flu vaccination (FMP and Raffles have this on offer)

No School
If you child has a fever (fever is 37.8 c or above) your child must stay home. Your child must be fever free for at least 24hrs without fever reducing medication.

Washing Hands Saves Lives

Washing your hands is easy, and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community—from your home and workplace to childcare facilities and hospitals.

Follow these five steps every time.

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Wash Your Hands Often to Stay Healthy

You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats.
  • After touching garbage.

School Health Centre
shc@unishanoi.org

Welcome to a Healthy School Year!

The School Health Centre would love to welcome everyone to an exciting new school year.  We are located opposite the Elementary Principal’s office B9 – G44.  We are here to support students, parents and faculty.

School Health Centre REMINDERS

1. UNIS Hanoi is a, NUT AND ALLERGY AWARE SCHOOL!
You can read more about Allergies in the school Handbooks (ES Handbook page 15-16, MS Handbook p21, HS Handbook p24).

Please update your child’s medical records with us if there is any changes.

2. Exclusions

If your child/children have the following symptoms, please do not send them to school. If a child presents with these symptoms, we will contact you to come and collect them for the safety of your child and others.

  • fever 38 degrees C or 104.4 F
  • diarrhea or vomiting
  • infectious disease
  • signs of pink eye (conjunctivitis)

Students must remain at home for 24 hours following the last unmedicated fever or episode of diarrhea and or vomiting.

There is full exclusion information and useful health information on the portal in the School Health Centre site.

3. Clean Hands Save Lives

Wash hands with soap and clean water and drying with a clean paper towel is our number from protection from infection.

  • before school
  • before and after eating
  • after using the bathroom

Keeping hands clean is one of the most important things we can do to stop the spread of germs and stay healthy.

4. Health Alert from the Vietnam Ministry of Health 

There is a current outbreak of DENGUE FEVER in Vietnam.

Precautions involve protecting yourself from mosquitoes. Staying in accommodations with air conditioning and sealed windows can help keep mosquitoes from getting in.

When you are out and about, you should be wearing mosquito repellent, insect repellant with DEET or icaridin.

If you are concerned you have Dengue Fever seek medical help immediately.

5. Stay Hydrated! 

It’s hot outside! Hot weather can cause heat related illness. Talk to your children about:

  • Having a water bottle with them at all times and refilling.
  • Drink 2-4 cups of water every hour while exercising.
  • Wear a hat.
  • Wear sunscreen to prevent sun burn

6. Cover Your Cough 

We encourage students to cover their cough with the inner elbow rather than into the open air or into a hand. This is recognized as a sure way to stop the spread of germs.

School Health Centre
shc@unishanoi.org

Keep Your Sick Child at Home

Dear Parents,

The School health Centre is seeing a very high number of students with fever. We have received a few medical reports positive for influenza (Flu).

Many students detail to the nurse that they were sick before coming to school. Unfortunately, there is nothing we are able to do except send your children home, but not before they have passed their germs onto other students on the school bus and in the classroom.

What can parents do to help minimize the cross infection risk to our students, staff and UNIS Hanoi community:

  • If your child is unwell in the morning take their temperature.
  • Keep your child at home if they have a fever of 38 degrees C / 100 degrees F
  • Ensure your child stays at home at least one full day after a fever has broken naturally, without fever-reducing medicines. This allows their body time to fully recover.
  • Ensure your child stays home for one full day  after the last episode of diarrhea and/or vomiting.
  • Notify the nurses at shc@unishanoi.org of illness so we can continue to monitor

Many thanks for your ongoing support,

School Health Centre Nurses

Give Blood – Give Life – Community Blood Drive

Dear UNIS Hanoi Family,

Giving blood can save up to three lives and the need is constant.

UNIS Hanoi is organising it’s annual community blood drive in collaboration with the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion (NIHBT) on Thursday, April 18 from 8.30 – 12.00 / 13.15 – 17.30 in the B7 Community Room.

This event is open to the wider community to join.

We hope to make this event as convenient as possible, it only takes about 45 minutes to give blood and is an easy 3-step process:
1) Bring ID and Register
2) Take a blood test
3) Donate blood
Preparation for the Blood Donation:
– Please read the Basic Donation Information
– Fill out THIS FORM (a schedule will be sent to you).
– Bring ID to register
– Eat a light healthy meal 2 hours before donating blood
– Drink as much water as possible
Steps of the Blood Donation:
– Arrive between 8.30 – 11.15 or 13.15 – 17.30
– Complete registration form from NIHBT
– Medical examination (pulse, blood pressure, blood test)
– Wait 10-15 minutes for test results
– Donate blood 10 -15 minutes (250ml female, 350-450ml male)
– Refreshments, gifts and transportation allowance collection
What do you gain by donating blood?
– You save lives!
– Vietnamese donors are put on a donor database and are prioritized if a blood transfusion is needed
– 45,000VND transportation allowance (option to donate to Service Learning)
– Gift (option to donate to Service Learning)
Any questions? Please don’t hesitate to ask!
School Health Centre (SHC@unishanoi.org)
Nurse Susan McComic (SMccomic@unishanoi.org)
Vietnamese Nurse Lan Anh (lvlanh@unishanoi.org)

School Health Centre: Fever & Respritory Illness

In recents days the SHC has seen an increase in fever and respiratory related illness. Please help us, help our community by taking the following preventative steps to stop the spread of germs.​

  • ​Hand washing is a powerful antidote to illness​. Wash hands with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • ​When coughing or sneezing, cover mouth with tissue or turn away from people, and cough into the shoulder or crook of the elbow. Throw the tissue in the trash bin after using.​
  • ​Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If having flu-like symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours after fever is gone. Limit contact with others to keep from infecting others. ​
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.

The School Health Centre team