The Flu and What You Can Do

The Flu and What You Can Do
Posted on 01/25/2018
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THE FLU AND WHAT YOU CAN DO 

Important Information From Your Boise School District 

Winter 2018 

This Winter 2018, the Boise School District has had several confirmed cases of influenza. Influenza (also known as flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. Flu is different from a cold, and usually comes on suddenly. While flu illness can vary from mild to severe, individuals may need medical care because of the flu. The following information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is provided as a public service to assist Boise District parents, students and staff members during this flu season. 

How does flu spread? 

Flu viruses are thought to spread mainly by droplets made when someone with flu coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. A person also can get the flu by touching something that has flu virus on it and then touching their mouth, eyes, or nose. 

What are flu symptoms? 

Flu symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, feeling tired and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults). Some people with the flu will not have a fever.

What to do if you get the flu?

  • Make sure to get plenty of rest and drink enough fluids.  
  • Stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone (this applies to students, parents and District staff members). 
  • The fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.  A fever is defined as 100°F (37.8°C) or higher. 
  • Talk to your doctor early if you are worried about you or your child’s illness. 

How long can flu be spread to others? 

People with flu may be able to infect others from 1 day before getting sick to up to 5 to 7 days after. Severely ill people or young children may be able to spread the flu longer, especially if they still have symptoms. 

How to protect against the flu:

  • Get a flu vaccine* (vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older).  According to regional and national medical professionals, it’s currently not too late to get a flu shot. 
  • It’s especially important that young children and children with long-term health conditions get vaccinated. 
  • Caregivers of children with health conditions or of children younger than 6 months old should get vaccinated. (Babies younger than 6 months are too young to be vaccinated themselves.) 
  • Another way to protect babies is to vaccinate pregnant women. Research shows that flu vaccination gives some protection to the baby both while the woman is pregnant and for up to 6 months after the baby is born.  

*Flu vaccine is updated annually to protect against the flu viruses that research indicates are most likely to cause illness during the upcoming flu season. Flu vaccines are made using strict safety and production measures. Over the years, millions of flu vaccines have been given in the United States with a very good safety record.

Other ways to protect you and your child against the flu? 

  • Stay away from people who are sick. 
  • If you or a family member is sick with flu-like illness, try to keep him or her in a separate room from others in the household, if possible. 
  • The CDC recommends that individuals stay home for at least 24 hours after his or her fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. The fever should be gone without the use of a fever reducing medicine. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after it has been used. 
  • Wash 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. 
  • Clean and disinfect hard surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs, including bathroom surfaces, kitchen counters and toys for children. Clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant according to directions on the product label.  

For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/flu or call 800-CDC-INFO