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Infection Control

HFI release 7.16

July 16, 2012
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Free Resource Available to Help Schools Prevent Spread of Stomach Illnesses
HFI and NEA HIN team up to promote The Stomach Bug Book

The Healthy Facilities Institute (HFI) and The NEA Health Information Network (NEA HIN) are partnering to promote NEA HIN’s The Stomach Bug Book - What School Employees Need to Know.

Schools across the country are susceptible to the spread of stomach illnesses. The Stomach Bug book, a pocket size manual for school employees, explains what educators need to know in order to minimize health risks from fast-spreading stomach illnesses such as norovirus. The booklet breaks down complex information in a quick and easy to use format.

The Stomach Bug Book (also available in Spanish) can be ordered free of charge in any quantity through the NEAHIN website (http://www.neahin.org/orders/). It is also available for download in English at http://www.neahin.org/educator-resources/stomach-bug-book-english.html or in Spanish at http://www.neahin.org/educator-resources/stomach-bug-book-spanish.html

Stomach illnesses - such as norovirus - can spread from a variety of sources, including an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by contact with contaminated surfaces. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that each year, norovirus causes about 21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis and contributes to about 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths, mostly among young children and older adults. Each year, it costs about $2 billion in the United States for healthcare and lost productivity from food borne illness caused by norovirus.

By providing tools and resources for everyone to learn, The Stomach Bug Book teaches us to prevent the spread of stomach illnesses.

“The Stomach Bug Book provides vital cleaning and hygiene tips to share with co-workers, family, and the school community,” said Allen Rathey, President of HFI. “Due to the quality and utility of this info, we are committed to raising awareness of the availability of this important knowledge tool from NEA HIN.”

“It is important that students, teachers, and school personnel, such as custodians, food service workers, bus drivers, and school nurses, understand the importance of hand washing and cleaning during a norovirus - or other - outbreak” said Jerald L. Newberry, Executive Director of NEA HIN. “We are delighted to work with The Healthy Facilities Institute to spotlight NEA HIN resources, including The Stomach Bug Book, to help prevent the spread of these common contagious illnesses in schools and surrounding communities.”

About Healthy Facilities Institute (HFI)
The Healthy Facilities Institute (HFI) strives to provide authoritative information for creating and maintaining clean, healthy indoor environments. Since buildings are ecosystems, HFI works to address the many interrelated aspects of built environments — such as air, water, energy, materials and resources, green cleaning, indoor environmental quality, waste management, people and more — as an integrated or holistic system. Inasmuch as “Clean” is a metaphor for healthy indoor spaces, HFI also emphasizes prevention and removal of pollutants or contaminants to help ensure optimum conditions for living, learning and working. Visit: www.healthyfacilitiesinstitute.com.

About NEA HIN
The NEA Health Information Network (NEA HIN) is the non-profit arm of the National Education Association (NEA). The NEA is the nation’s largest independent membership and labor association, representing more than 3 million educational employees. Since 1987, NEA HIN has provided health and safety information, materials, programs and services to NEA members. NEA HIN’s mission is to improve the health and safety of school personnel and students by providing programs and services that support effective teaching, learning and good health. Visit: www.neahin.org.

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