We have seen an increase in flu-like illness recently in our school and would like your help in keeping our students and staff healthy. Please keep the following in mind:
- Monitor for flu-like symptoms. Symptoms include: fever (over 100 degrees F), sore throat, runny nose or stuffy nose. People may also have other symptoms with influenza including body aches, feeling very tired, and sometimes vomiting or diarrhea.
- If you or your child is sick, stay home from work or school until you are better. Individuals with flu-like illness should stay home and not attend school or go into the community except to seek medical care for at least 24 hours after the fever has ended (without assistance of fever reducing medication - such as ibuprofen or Tylenol).
How does the flu spread?
- People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away via droplets from coughing, sneezing, or even talking. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person might get the flu by touching a surface that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes.
When are people contagious?
- People with flu are most contagious in the first three to four days after their illness begins. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Children and some people with weakened immune systems may pass the virus for longer than 7 days.
- Symptoms can begin about 2 days after the virus enters the body. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Some people can be infected with the flu virus but have no-symptoms. During this time, those people may still spread the virus to others.
Help practice prevention!
- Wash hands well and often. Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you can't wash with soap and water, use a hand sanitizer.
- Remind children to keep hands away from faces and don't touch their mouth, nose or eyes.
- Cover your cough. Cough into the inside of your elbow, or into a tissue-not your hands.
- Throw away used tissues or hand sanitizer wipes.
- Don't share water bottles, utensils, cups, etc. with others.
- Be wise immunize! Flue vaccines are highly recommended to prevent influenza. Remember by getting the flu shot you are not just protecting yourself but also those around you.