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.