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Posted October 21, 2013

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Letter to Parents and Staff of Sandia Base Elementary School

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) is collaborating with Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) and the 377th Medical Clinic on Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB) to investigate some recent pneumonia cases among students attending the Sandia Base Elementary School.

Since the end of September, 2013, there have been 5 children diagnosed with pneumonia who attend Sandia Base Elementary School. All the children had cough, fever and headache. Some children also had sore throat and vomiting. All of the children have recovered. Three of the children experienced short hospitalizations without complications.

If your child should develop cough and fever with or without other symptoms, and your child’s healthcare provider suspects pneumonia, please give this letter to the healthcare provider. Also, if you or any household member live with a child who has been sick and attends Sandia Base Elementary School, and you or any household members are diagnosed with pneumonia, please give this letter to the healthcare provider.

NMDOH epidemiologists are available by telephone to provide assistance and advice about which laboratory tests to perform before antibiotics are started.

Your healthcare provider may call either Dr. Joan Baumbach, Deputy State Epidemiologist, at 505-699-3771, or David Selvage, PA-C, at 505-670-8585, during work hours (Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm). After hours and on weekends, your healthcare provider can call the on-call epidemiologist at 505-827-0006.

Finally, the best ways to prevent the spread of common respiratory infections are very simple. Wash your hands frequently. Cover your cough or sneeze and always wash your hands after coughing or sneezing. Wash your hands after using the restroom and before and after eating. And make sure that you and your child have received this season’s influenza vaccination.

Thank you.

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