The Maine Center for Disease Control would like to remind schools that clusters and outbreaks of any illness – defined as student absenteeism rates that are equal to or greater than 15 percent – are reportable immediately to the Maine Division of Infectious Disease. The timely report of 15 percent or higher absenteeism will help us track potential outbreaks of infectious diseases, including influenza, in your school and across the state.
All absenteeism equal to or greater than 15 percent should be reported to the state through the MEDMS application. Learn to use the MEDMS School Absentee Reporting Form at www.maine.gov/education/medms/resources/absenteeism.htm or www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?topic=SLDS_sessions&id=93352&v=Article.
An absentee report will result in quick response from a field epidemiologist to assist in the determination of the outbreak cause (e.g. respiratory or gastrointestinal illness) and provide consultation on infection control.
If you do not have access to the absentee reporting function in MEDMS, contact your district MEDMS coordinator or the MEDMS help desk at 207-624-6896.