MOH News
Dr. Nesreen Al-Sherbini: Cold and Bronchitis Are Most Common Among Students
15 September 2013
Dr. Nesreen al-Sherbini, a Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Fever, said that the most common infectious diseases among school students are cold or bronchitis, tonsillitis, and gastroenteritis accompanied by diarrhea and colic with or without a high temperature.
This comes as a part of the activities of the health awareness program (My health ... My school) coinciding with the start of the new academic year, as the Ministry of Health (MOH) hosted Dr. Nesreen al-Sherbini, a Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Fever, through its Media and Health Awareness Information Center's toll-free number: 8002494444 and the MOH's account on Twitter: @saudimoh; in order to answer all callers' inquiries on the major infectious diseases that spread among school students, and to talk about the ways of protecting them against colds and the other infectious diseases.
Talking about the most prominent general tips for parents and children to avoid such diseases, Dr. al-Sherbini focused on the importance of maintaining the personal hygiene, stopping the use of the tools of the other persons such as the toothbrush, comb…etc, washing the hands well with soap and water or with the hand sanitizer, as well as maintaining the etiquette of sneezing or coughing (by using tissues when sneezing or coughing or by covering the face), and touching the eyes contaminated with sneezing droplets only after washing them.
Moreover, Dr. al-Sherbini advised parents to ensure that their children aging over 6 month have the annual flu vaccination in addition to the other scheduled vaccinations, and prepare a nutritious and integrated meal that includes protein, carbohydrates, vegetables and fruits; because such materials contain vitamins and minerals essential for the prevention of diseases, and strengthen the immunity system of the child. Also, the exposed foods were advised to be avoided and the fruits to be washed before eating.
As for Coronavirus which causes panic for some people, especially with the beginning of the new academic year and the pilgrimage season, Dr. al-Sherbini said that Coronavirus is transmitted through the droplets of the infected person after sneezing or coughing; therefore, the person should avoid close contact with the infected or suspected people, or wear the protective mask if it is necessary to visit the infected person, adding that there is no a vaccination or scientific treatment against the virus till now; because it has been originated recently.
Dr. al-Sherbini illustrated that the treatment of the infected person depends primarily on dealing with the symptoms and complications resulting from infection with the virus. Meanwhile, Dr. al-Sherbini advised people not to listen to rumors which are widely spread these days on the virus; because they cause unjustified panic among people, and to take information from a reliable source, i.e. specialist physicians in this field.
Within the same vein, Dr. al-Sherbini focused on the importance of rushing to the nearest medical center or hospital immediately after the suspected symptoms, such as the increase of the body temperature to 38 degrees centigrade or higher with coughing or apnea, appear on parents or children to diagnose the case and start the necessary treatment according to the clinical or laboratory diagnosis.
Moreover, Dr. al-Sherbini also affirmed that the Coronavirus cases, who have good immunity and do not suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes, kidney failure, high blood pressure and others, have been recovered completely, praise be to Allah, adding that that most deaths were among the elderly people and the cases who suffer from chronic diseases.  As for children and school students, the rate of Coronavirus cases is still low till now, and most of them were recovered, praise be to Allah.
Finally, Dr. al-Sherbini added that such statistics should calm the parents and relieve their worries. Meanwhile, Dr. al-Sherbini concluded that the virus can reach the students, but the infection may be mild and transient in most cases and does not develop into severe pneumonia, like the elderly people and the cases with chronic diseases.
On the other hand, the Director of the MOH's Media and Health Awareness Information Center, Ph. Amal bint Mo'aweyah Abul-Jadayel, reassured that the mission of the school administration towards safety and health means is a very serious responsibility; therefore, the school must exert maximum efforts to maintain the safety of the students.
Within the same vein, Ph. Abul-Jadayel said, “Before embarking on the rescue operation, the first-aid man must seek urgent medical help, evacuate the place from the injured people, start with the most dangerous cases, such as those suffering from apnea or bleeding, and not to move the injured person from his position because he might have fractures in the vertebral column or in the thoracic cage, except in the case of keeping him away from the danger, since then, he might be placed on a stretcher. 
Ph. Abul-Jadayel moved on to add that there should be a teacher or students advisor, who has knowledge of all first aid techniques and holds training courses in this field. Also, it is necessary to introduce training courses for teachers and students in the first aid techniques, provide enough spaces around the injured person to breathe well, and show self-restraint so that the injured person does not feel the seriousness of his condition. Ph. Abul-Jadayel stressed also on the importance of regular maintenance of fire extinguishers in schools; in order to be effective when needed, considering them the source of fire protection, Allah willing.
Moreover, Ph. Abul-Jadayel also focused on the need to keep pesticides, disinfectants and all toiletries away from the reach of students, adhere to the standard number of students in each class, stay away from scrambling at the entry and exit, and have knowledge of students who suffer from chronic diseases and the way to deal with them. Ph. Abul-Jadayel stressed also that it is necessary to provide a fire alarm, establish an evacuation plan and train teachers and students on this plan to be used in case of a disaster, Allah forbid.
Within the same vein, Ph. Abul-Jadayel referred to the importance of using the stairs leading to outside directly in case of accidents, and keeping a record of all serious injuries, accidents and incidents (date, time, and place of the accident, the name and the age of the injured person… etc). Also, all school employees were advised to take appropriate precautions to avoid infection, follow hygiene procedures, and safely dispose of the medical wastes, blood and other body fluids in cases of injuries.
Ph. Abul-Jadayel was concluded as saying, “The first aid box should contain triangle-shaped ties to secure the bandage or to carry the arm, as well as medical cotton, and a burns cream to heal skin burns, sunburn and stings. In addition, the first aid box is to include analgesic drugs (such as aspirin or paracetamol), forceps, scissors, as well as securing pins, thermometer, antiseptic solution, medical stickers, eye compresses and medical gloves.”

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