Influenza(flu) season has begun. As expected with high levels of influenza currently circulating in our community, cases of influenza-like illnesses may be increasingly reported in students and staff.
As in past influenza seasons, the health and safety of all children are a priority for each school community. Since flu can spread easily from person to person, we need your help to prevent cases of flu in students and staff. It is important for all staff, students, and families to take the following precautions at this time:
- Monitor the health of your child and all other household members closely by checking for fever and other flu symptoms every morning. Symptoms of flu usually include fever with cough or sore throat, and sometimes runny nose, body aches, headache, vomiting or diarrhea.
- Staff and children with symptoms of the flu should stay at home. Keeping sick students at home is the best way to keep flu from spreading to other students and staff. As much as possible, sick children should be cared for by a single designated caregiver, kept in a separate room in the house and have limited contact with other household members who are not sick. Children with symptoms of flu may not return to school until they are free of fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications. A doctor’s note is NOT required in order for your child to return to school. Please notify the school if your child is absent.
- Ill children should be encouraged to drink plenty of clear fluids to prevent dehydration. Do not give any medicines containing aspirin to your child. Contact a healthcare provider and seek medical care immediately if your child is having difficulty breathing or chest pain, has altered mental status or confusion, is vomiting and unable to keep liquids down, or is getting worse.
- Recognize whether your child or any household member is at high risk for severe illness from flu. People at higher risk for flu complications include children under the age of 2 years, pregnant women, people of any age who have chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, cancer or heart disease), and people age 65 years and older. If any high risk person or household member becomes sick with flu-like symptoms, please contact your doctor as soon as possible to ask for advice about antiviral medications.
- Remind all household members to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer regularly. Continue to teach children to cover their cough with their elbow or sleeve, and to avoid touching their face.
- Have all eligible household members vaccinated for influenza as soon as possible.
If you have any questions regarding any of this information, please feel free to contact your campus nurse.