Winter….anywhere from 2-52 degrees!
Yes, we are having unusual temperatures! I have had reports of those with allergies having those symptoms on the warmer days. Our local allergy station is not currently posting the daily counts, but mold and tree pollens have been counted in areas to the south of us. Travel to warmer climates can also include exposure to allergens and illnesses in those regions.
Please have students dress according to the weather predicted for lunchtime recesses as we will be going outside throughout the winter months when it is safe to do so- not icy or too wet.
Influenza, strep throat, and the stomach bug-
‘Tis the season for several illnesses. Here is some information to help you figure out what you are dealing with when symptoms arise:
The 2018-2019 Flu Season (Influenza) has arrived in our community…
How Flu Spreads- Person to Person
People with flu (influenza) can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. 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 also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose.
To avoid this, people should stay away from sick people and stay home if sick. It also is important to wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Linens, eating utensils, and dishes belonging to those who are sick should not be shared without washing thoroughly first. Eating utensils can be washed either in a dishwasher or by hand with water and soap and do not need to be cleaned separately. Further, frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected at home, work and school, especially if someone is ill.
The Flu Is Contagious
Most healthy adults may be able to infect other people beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Children may pass the virus for longer than 7 days. Symptoms start 1 to 4 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 persons may still spread the virus to others.
It is important to contact your physician to confirm influenza and determine when you can be vaccinated to avoid re-infection following your first episode. Having the flu does not provide immunity for the remainder of the season.
Signs and Symptoms of Flu
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms that usually start suddenly, not gradually:
- Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (very tired)
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in young children than in adults.
*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
Complications of Flu
Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.
The “stomach flu” or “stomach bug” is a completely different virus- it is not influenza and is characterized by:
- Stomach pain and cramping
- Occasionally fever
People with influenza will sometimes have vomiting and diarrhea, but these symptoms are rare.
So the next time you tell someone you had the “flu”, be sure you specify which type.
If you have questions regarding your child please contact your doctor. Once you have a diagnosis please let me know. Each of these conditions are contagious and we want to prevent spread to others whenever possible.
Good Hand Washing is the best defense for all illnesses all of the time.
The Flu Vaccine is your best shot to avoid Influenza this year and every year.
Laurie Petersen RN