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Public Health Information

Flu Prevention Tips from the Santa Clara County Public Health DepartmentTop of Page

Flu Prevention Tips for Schools
Flu season is at its peak nationwide, and it is on the rise in California.  In Santa Clara County, we are entering the peak weeks of the flu season, and the Santa Clara County Public Health Department wants to share some tips on protecting the health of our community. Flu is easily transmitted in places where people congregate, so schools can play a large role in reducing the spread of flu and other contagious diseases. 

The basic advice from the Santa Clara Public Health Department:

  • Get (and encourage others to get) vaccinated against the flu
    Wash your hands thoroughly and often
  • Cover your cough
  • Ask those under your care to stay home if they feel sick

More information on the flu is available at the link below:
Click here to view/download Flu Prevention Tips for Schools information sheet.
man kneeling to speak with group of children

Whooping Cough (Pertussis)Top of Page


student smiling at camera, text reads "New rule for school, 7th-12th graders need a whooping cough shot. Nueva regla para la escuela, estudiantes del 7th al 12th grado necesitan una vacuna contra la tos ferina."

New School Requirements for 2011 (AB 354)

Under a new California law that takes effect in July 2011, all California middle and high school students must be vaccinated against pertussis (whooping cough) for this upcoming 2011-2012 school year.  Beginning July 1, 2011, all students entering into 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades will be required to show proof of a 'Tdap' booster shot before starting school.

 This requirement applies to all public and private schools.

Pertussis (whooping cough) is a bacterial infection that can cause serious coughing fits that make it hard to breathe.  Whooping cough is a serious disease that mostly affects babies under 1 year of age who are too young to be fully vaccinated.  Each year hundreds of babies are hospitalized for whooping cough and some die.  Parents should know that the protection from childhood pertussis immunizations wear off and that adolescents and adults who have not had a booster shot for whooping cough can get the disease and then spread it to young babies who are most at risk.  In order to protect young babies, it is important for older children and adults to get their Tdap booster shots.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommends that parents get their child vaccinated early to avoid the rush.  All California parents who have students in middle and high school are encouraged to get their kids vaccinated well before the fall 2011 school year begins.  There will be no grace period and the regulations will be strictly enforced.  Parents should be aware that the protection from childhood immunizations of pertussis wears off, and adolescents may be at risk of catching and spreading whooping cough without a Tdap booster.  Ask your child's pediatrician for the Tdap vaccine.  Your child's school will be asking for your child's yellow immunization card as proof they have received the vaccine.

The Tdap immunization requirement has changed.  New state legislation gives students 30 calendar days from the first day of school to meet this requirement.  Students who do not have clearance on or before August 16 will be subject to the 30 calendar day conditional window.  Deadline to meet the Tdap immunization requirement:  September 16, 2011.

To learn more about the new immunization law, please visit the CA Dept. of Public Health website.

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FAQs for Parents
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More information can be found on the following websites:

H1N1 Influenza Virus Update and ResourcesTop of Page

H1N1 Influenza Virus Information & Resources

The Santa Clara Public Health Department asks that the following health precautions be followed: 
  • Parents of students/children are asked to be the first-line of defense by keeping their child home if they display flu like symptoms.  Those symptoms include fever, coughing, running nose, sore throat, head and body aches, lack of appetite, general weakness, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Schools are also requested to monitor student health in general and, if needed, send students home that display the flu like symptoms.
Further recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control ask that:
  • Students, faculty or staff with influenza-like symptoms should stay home and not attend school or go into the community, except to seek medical care, for at least 7 days even if symptoms resolve sooner.
  • Students, faculty or staff who continue to be sick 7 days after they have become ill should continue to stay home from school until at least 24 hours after symptoms have resolved.
  • Students, faculty and staff should follow sanitary measures to reduce the spread of influenza, including covering their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, frequently washing hands with soap and water, or using hand sanitizer if hand washing with soap and water is not possible.
We would like to thank our students, parents, staff, and community for their cooperation to limit the severity of this potential health crisis by adhering to the advice of our local public health officials.

We invite you to explore many helpful resources listed on our web site, including the Home Care Guide:  Providing Care At Home During Pandemic Flu.   For parents looking for information on how to talk to children about the H1N1 Influenza Virus, refer to the information sheet developed by the National Association of School Psychologists.
Prevention and Minimizing the Spread of the H1N1 Influenza Virus

To prevent and minimize the spread of the H1N1 Influenza Virus:
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds each time, especially after you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Get plenty of sleep, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
  • Stay home if you become ill.
  • Call in to your school if your child becomes ill showing the symptoms listed above.
Information Line
Information on the H1N1 Influenza Virus also is available by calling the Santa Clara County Public Health Information Line at (408) 885-3980.

H1N1 Influenza Virus Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)