With students returning to school, the past few days the incidences of flu/common cold symptoms has sharply risen on campus. Both illnesses are a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses, rhinoviruses and others; most cases are mild but others can become severe.
Here are tips to protect yourself and your family:
1. Stay home if you are experiencing any flu/cold symptoms
- fever* or feeling feverish/chills
- 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.
It’s important to note that not everyone with the flu/common cold will have a fever. This action alone immediately reduces the risk of transmission to others.
2. Simple actions everyday
- Hand washing is a powerful antidote to illness. Wash hands with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth with tissue or turn away from people, and cough into the shoulder or crook of the elbow. Throw the tissue in the trash bin after using. Put a mask on if you don’t already have it on.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- If having flu-like symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours or until symptoms have subsided, if your child has a fever they must stay home for 48hrs after the fever has gone.
- Limit contact with others to keep from infecting others.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.
3. Take time to get a flu vaccine
A yearly flu vaccination is the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. Vaccination can reduce flu illnesses and help avoid doctors’ visits, and missed work and school.
Flu vaccine is recommended for everyone aged 6 months and older and high-risk persons including young children, elderly, pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung diseases. .
Vaccination is important for health care workers and other people who live with or care for high risk people to keep from spreading the flu to these vulnerable groups.
Children younger than 6 months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated. People who care for them should be vaccinated instead.
Help us keep your children healthy and please stay home if unwell!
You should call your doctor if you or your child has one or more of these conditions:
- symptoms that last more than 10 days
- symptoms that are severe or unusual
- if your child is younger than 3 months of age and has a fever or is lethargic
You should also call your doctor right away if you are at high risk for serious flu complications and get flu symptoms such as fever, chills, and muscle or body aches. People at high risk for flu complications include young children (younger than 5 years old), adults 65 years and older, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.
Your doctor can determine if you or your child has a cold or the flu and can recommend treatment to help with symptoms.
School Health Centre