Flu season has arrived


Dear Parent or Guardian:


This post is to inform you that flu season is at hand.  Absences are increased during this time of year and consequently, this post is intended to inform you of precautions that can be taken to avoid the spread of the flu.


Influenza (flu) is a respiratory infection caused by several species of the influenza virus.  Some persons with influenza may have mild symptoms similar to the common cold, while others have symptoms severe enough to warrant hospitalization. Common symptoms include fever, headache, cough, body aches, weakness, and congestion in the nose, throat, and lungs roughly 1-4 days after exposure.  Children may also experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Most persons with influenza require bed rest but usually recover within 5 days.


Influenza spreads easily when respiratory droplets containing the flu virus are expelled when talking, laughing, coughing, or sneezing in close proximity to others. The virus can also be spread when someone touches an object that has the flu virus on it and then touches eyes, nose, or mouth. Communicability of influenza is greatest in the first 3-5 days after exposure but may continue longer in children and those with compromised immune systems. Persons infected with influenza may spread the illness before they are aware that they are infected.

Recommendations

  • Practice good hygiene habits
    • Disinfect surfaces regularly
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
    • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Individuals with flu symptoms should be isolated at home and excluded from school/childcare/public activities until symptoms resolve and are fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever suppressing medications
  • Persons with flu symptoms should be evaluated by their health care provider for diagnosis and treatment
  • Get vaccinated for seasonal flu every year

Thank you for your assistance in following the recommendations to prevent the potential spread of seasonal flu.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Texas Department of State Health Services at (817) 822-6786.