I am sure many of you are aware of the rise in the number of cases of confirmed influenza and “flu-like illness” in the Chicagoland area. Fortunately, the rates of abseentism at Irving have remained low at this point in the year. However, flu season is predicted to be longer and more severe this year, reaching its peak in January and February. In the interest of keeping our children, families and staff healthy, I wanted to post some friendly reminders from the CDC in preventing and containing influenza.
Symptoms of the flu are:
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills ( some cases of flu can be present without fever)
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
- CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.
- 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. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Flu is highly contagious! Symptoms start 1 to 4 days after the virus enters the body. That means that you can pass the flu on to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
- Maintain healthy sleep habits and include highly nutritious foods in your diet to boost your body’s own immunity.
If you are calling your child in sick, please inform Mrs.Johnson or myself of the reason for the absence so that rates of infection can be monitored. This information will be kept confidential. Wishing you the best in health during this season of contagion! Feel free to call me with any questions or concerns at 708-524-3089.
Jamie Peterson-Strokosch,RN, BSN
School Nurse for Washington Irving Elementary School
Oak Park School District 97