The health and safety of our students and staff is the number one priority in Fort Bend ISD. With the recent heightened awareness and concern over infectious diseases, we want to use this opportunity to let you know what precautions, procedures and preventative actions the District’s health officials are taking to protect our children in FBISD. We also want to share important information with you so that you and your families can take all necessary precautions.
The District is aware of the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the risk of a widespread outbreak in the United States is very low and the Agency and its partners are taking the necessary precautions.
Fort Bend ISD has stringent procedures that we follow in accordance with the Center for Disease Control guidelines. The District will continue to take all necessary precautions under the direction of the Fort Bend County Health Department, the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Center for Disease Control.
To keep you informed, we would like to share an update from the Fort Bend County Health Department. They are monitoring the situation and are in direct contact with state and federal health officials.
“On September 30, 2014, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) confirmed a positive laboratory test result for the Ebola virus from a patient at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, TX. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed DSHS’ positive laboratory result. The patient arrived from Liberia in West Africa to visit family members in North Texas during the previous week. He presented to the Dallas County hospital with a recent travel history and symptoms consistent with Ebola and specimens were submitted to both laboratories for testing. The patient is in isolation under standard, contact, and droplet precautions. Persons who had contact with the patient are being identified, informed, and monitored.
According to both DSHS and the CDC, the positive result on the patient in Texas does not represent an increased risk to the general community. The virus is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or unprotected mucous membrane) with the blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with Ebola, with objects like needles that have been contaminated with the virus, or with infected animals. Ebola is not spread through the air, water or, in general, by food; however, in Africa, Ebola may be spread as a result of handling raw bush meat (wild animals hunted for food).
Fort Bend County Health & Human Services is monitoring this situation as public health investigations are unfolding in Dallas County and elsewhere. Currently, medical and public health professionals from Dallas County, Texas, DSHS and CDC are actively combining their efforts to contain the infection of the sick individual and also to control its transmission to the close personal contacts of the ill person. Public Health officials are aware of how to stop Ebola from further spreading through case finding, isolation and supportive treatment of ill people, and further isolation of contacts if they develop symptoms.
Fort Bend County Health & Human Services’ Public Health Emergency Program has also forwarded health advisories, health alerts, and health worker risk communication information to local health care providers across Fort bend County to increase their awareness on the situation.
Fort Bend County Health & Human Services continues to monitor the Dallas County situation through conference calls with various agencies. Situational awareness and monitoring the case for public health impacts that may affect Fort Bend County is a high priority.”
You can find the latest information about health care concerns from expert medical officials at the following websites:
As with any health situation or illness, Fort Bend ISD health officials and our school nurses are aware of the symptoms and protocols related to communicable diseases and constantly monitoring and educating students and staff. The District will continue to closely monitor the situation and remain in contact with health authorities.
We thank you for your continued support, and if you have questions about health issues related to your child, please contact your campus nurse.
Dr. Christie Whitbeck
Fort Bend ISD
* A Spanish version of this message will be posted in announcements on the District’s website on Friday, October 3.
* Una versión en español de esta mensaje será publicado en los anuncios en la página web del Distrito el viernes, 3 de octubre.