January 6, 2020
Winter break is over and school is back in session! It’s the time when we start to see a lot of illnesses spread. The most common illness we hear about is influenza (“the flu”). Common symptoms of the flu include fever (greater than 100.4F), aching muscles, chills, sweats, headache, dry/persistent cough, fatigue/weakness, nasal congestion, and sore throat.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a 3 step process to fighting the flu:
Take everyday prevention actions
Use antiviral drugs if prescribed
Prevention is key! The flu vaccine has been shown to reduce flu related illnesses and the risk of serious flu complications that can result in hospitalization or death. IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO GET THE FLU VACCINE! Flu season runs from October to May. It takes about 2 weeks for your body to build antibodies from the vaccine.
Everyday actions to stop the spread of influenza:
Try to avoid being around sick people
If sick, with other febrile respiratory illnesses, stay home for at least 24 hours after fever is gone without using fever-reducing medicine.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective when soap and water is unavailable.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
If your child gets the flu, this is KDHE’s current recommendation in regards to keeping them home from school:
“KDHE recommends that persons who are symptomatic with influenza-like illness (temperature of 100° or greater, a cough and/or sore throat without a known cause other than influenza) and have either a positive laboratory test for influenza or been treated with antiviral medication used to treat influenza is considered to have a case of influenza. To control the spread of influenza the following isolation requirements should be followed:
For each person hospitalized with a case, droplet precautions shall be followed for five days following onset of illness or until fever free for 24 hours without the aid of fever reducing medications, whichever is longer.
For each person with a case shall remain in home isolation for five days following onset of illness or until fever free for 24 hours without the aid of fever reducing medications, whichever is longer, except when seeking medical care.”
Hoping for a healthy flu season this year! If you have any questions regarding whether or not to keep you child home, or any other illnesses, feel free to contact me!
Jordan Sadler, RN
USD360 School Nurse