Influenza, commonly called “the flu,” is an infection of the respiratory tract caused by the influenza virus. Typical influenza symptoms include fever of 100 degrees F to 103 degrees F in adults and often even higher in children, and respiratory symptoms, such as cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, as well as, headache, muscle aches and extreme fatigue. Although influenza is a respiratory virus, it may also be accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea, especially in children. Be aware, the term “stomach flu” is a misnomer that is sometimes used to describe gastrointestinal illnesses caused by organisms other than influenza viruses.
Most people who get the flu recover completely in 1 to 2 weeks, but some people develop serious and potentially life-threatening medical complications, such as pneumonia. During most flu seasons, which typically run from November to April, between 10 and 20 percent of the U.S. population is infected with influenza viruses. It is estimated that more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications every year in the U.S.
Influenza viruses are divided into three types, called A, B, and C. Influenza types A and B are responsible for epidemics of respiratory illness that occur most often every winter and are frequently associated with increased rates of hospitalization and death. Influenza type C usually causes either a very mild respiratory illness or no illness at all. It does not result in epidemics and does not have the severe public health impact that influenza types A and B do. Flu vaccines are developed with an effort to control the impact of influenza types A and B.
District 66 Wellness Policy
Center Cass District 66 adheres to the CDC recommendations that students and staff with flu-like illness remain at home until at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever. A fever is a temperature that is equal to or greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit or (38 degrees Celsius). Because high temperatures are associated with higher amounts of virus, people with a fever may be more contagious. A sick student or staff member can return to school after 24 hours have passed with a normal temperature (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit or 37 degrees Celsius) without the use of fever-reducing medications, ie, Tylenol or Motrin. As the sick person begins to improve, you may decide to stop giving fever-reducing medicines while continuing to monitor their temperature until the temperature has been normal for 24 hours.
“SPREAD THE WORD, NOT THE GERMS!” Dr. Will Sawyer
In order to protect yourself and your family from getting sick, you should practice Hand Awareness. Keeping your fingers and hands away from your T-zone, or the mucous membranes of your eyes, nose and mouth, will help reduce the risk of contracting a respiratory or gastrointestinal disease. This is because the eyes, nose and mouth are the points of entry for bacteria that cause those illnesses.
Practicing respiratory etiquette is essential to stopping the spread of germs to others.
Sneeze or cough into your elbow or sleeve instead of your hands to avoid spreading germs to surfaces, such as doorknobs, telephones, and computer keys.
Discard used tissues in a garbage can immediately after use.
Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after blowing your nose, and multiple times throughout the day as warranted by activity . If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer.