Reminder about the flu
School District 622 is beginning to see an increase in the number of students with influenza. Flu seasons are unpredictable when it comes to determining when the season will start, the severity, and the actual type of influenza virus. The following is a guide for families based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Minnesota Department of Health.
4 main ways you and your family may keep from getting sick with the flu at school and at home:
• Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow; not into your hands.
• Stay home if you or your child is sick for at least 24 hours after there is no longer a fever or signs of a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine).
• Get your family vaccinated for influenza. Flu shots are still available.
What are the symptoms of the flu?
Symptoms of flu may include: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. Some people with the flu will not have a fever. People with the flu may infect others from 1 day before getting sick to 5-7 days or while they still have symptoms.
What should you do if your child gets sick with flu-like symptoms?
• Let your child’s school know if he/she is home sick due to flu-like symptoms.
• Students with flu-like symptoms should stay home for at least 24 hours after there are no longer a fever or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medicine. Children may continue to be sick for 5 or more days.
• Monitor the health of other school-aged children for fever and other symptoms of the flu.
• Consult your healthcare provider if you have additional questions or concerns. Antiviral medications can treat flu illness. These medications are prescribed by a doctor and work best when started during the first 2 days of illness.
• If your child seems very sick call your healthcare provider right away. Warning or emergency signs include: fast breathing or trouble breathing, bluish or gray skin color, not drinking enough fluids, severe or persistent vomiting, not waking up or not interacting, being so irritable that the child does not want to be held, flu-like symptoms improve but then return with a fever and/or cough, has other health conditions (like heart or lung disease, diabetes, or asthma).
Additional information is available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/ or The Minnesota Department of Health at:http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/flu/basics/index.html