This is a follow-up communication that the District shared with parents and staff on Friday, Sept. 20 regarding Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) health concerns in communities surrounding St. Joseph County (Indiana). At this time, St. Joseph County still has not released a warning, alert or advisory for EEE.
EEE is a potentially serious disease that can affect anyone, but children under the age of 15 and people over the age of 50 are at greatest risk. Click here for more information on EEE. We want to make families aware that Penn-Harris-Madison allows all students to possess and use a topical, non-aerosol insect repellent product (such as lotions or wipes) while on school property or at a school sponsored event or activity. Non-aerosol products are recommended in order to prevent students from getting the products in their eyes. Students do not have to have a physician’s note or prescription for the product, nor is the student required to store the product in a specific location if the product is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective. Local and state county health departments recommend the use of EPA-registered insect repellents that contain one of these active ingredients:
- DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para menthane-diol (PMD), 2-undecanone. Click here to find the insect repellent that’s right for you by using EPA’s search tool.
Corporation personnel shall not assist with the application of the topical insect repellent product. Therefore we still strongly encourage parents to use a long lasting insect repellent and apply on your child before they leave for school. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants is also effective and insect repellent can also be applied to the clothing for a longer lasting effect. Again, students are allowed to bring repellent lotions or wipes to school to reapply.
Penn-Harris-Madison Facilities Department and Groundskeeping crews will also be extra vigilant in maintaining our school properties and campus areas to minimize these risks for students when they are with us. If you are aware of areas of concern at one of our schools or properties, we encourage you to reach out to your building principal who will notify P-H-M Facilities Department.
We appreciate your cooperation as heightened awareness about EEE continues to grow in our area. As we become aware or receive updates from area and state Health Departments, we will pass that information along to our families and staff. We will also post any important updates on the P-H-M District website. Please also feel free to share that information with us by way of your building principal.
Thank you for your collaboration in helping to keep our students and staff safe.