Sangster Health Information

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Dear Sangster Parent or Guardian:

In cooperation with the Fairfax County Health Department, we are sending this health information letter home because several cases of pneumonia have been diagnosed in our school.

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. There are many different germs that can cause pneumonia. Symptoms of pneumonia may include cough, fever, and difficulty breathing. Pneumonia can occur in people of all ages and can be severe, requiring hospitalization.  If you suspect your child has pneumonia, please consult with your health care provider.

The risk of pneumonia spreading to others is low and depends on the type of germ causing the illness.  Usually contacts of a person with pneumonia will have no illness or a more mild respiratory illness.  As some of the causes of pneumonia can be prevented by vaccination (e.g., influenza, pneumococcus), we encourage you to review your child’s vaccination records with your child’s health care provider to determine whether your child is fully immunized against these diseases. You may also want to consult your health care provider if your child has a chronic medical condition such as diabetes or asthma, as he or she may be more susceptible to serious disease.

The Health Department recommends the following to help prevent the spread of infection:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Teach your children to wash their hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds.  Be sure to set a good example by doing this yourself. If soap and water are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizers may be used.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw tissues in the trash after use.  If tissues are not available, cover coughs and sneezes with your upper sleeve.
  • If your child has a fever, he/she should stay at home at least 24 hours after fever is gone without the use of medication. We encourage you to put this information into practice to help your child stay healthy and to prevent others from getting sick. If you have questions regarding this information, please contact your health care provider or the School Public Health Nurse, Shannon Luisa, RN at or 703-388-1350.


Lisa M. Reddel