On Tuesday, September 30, the Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed that a patient at a Dallas County hospital tested positive for Ebola. While a confirmed case of Ebola in Dallas is concerning, health officials have stated that the patient “does not represent an increased risk to the general population. 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.”
To ensure the health and safety of our students, Leander ISD’s response to routine and non-routine health situations always involves local health departments. The LISD District Nurse and clinics work closely with the health departments. There are plans in place for responding to and communicating regarding routine and non-routine situations. While the situation in Dallas has heightened awareness of Ebola, at this time, the health department has not issued a change of protocol for our community.
District officials regularly communicate with the health department regarding routine situations (such as flu). When it is less routine, such as with the H1N1 flu in 2009, the district follows protocols at the direction of the health departments, and will do the same with this or any other health situation. As each situation is unique, the response could vary greatly, given the need, and the health departments have the most knowledge to issue guidance.
The health and well-being of students is always our highest priority. LISD will continue to keep parents informed should the situation change.