FLU season is upon us. Here are some things you should know…. from our school nurse, Helana Kadyszewski

AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION…
Get vaccinated….it’s not too late and the vaccines are a pretty good match for this season’s strains (see link for the Flu Shot Finder below)
Cover those coughs and sneezes and send the sick ones home until 24 hours after fever/symptoms have subsided
Practice/promote good hand hygiene (especially before and after snacks and lunch) and sanitize those common areas with a powerful germ wipe

THE FLU IS (ALWAYS) DANGEROUS…
Little Ronan was just one of an unfortunate many. During the 2012-13 flu season – an average flu year – 149 children lost their lives due to flu and flu-related complications. (For comparison, during the 2009-2010 season – in which the nation experienced an H1N1 epidemic – 348 children lost their lives.) The flu does not discriminate, but it hits young kiddos, people who have not been vaccinated, immunocompromised adults, and anyone with background medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, lung and heart conditions, super-hard. The CDC recommends that certain children – especially those new to the flu vaccine, those who’ve only had it in recent years, and those with chronic conditions that may make them more vulnerable to the flu – receive TWO DOSES of the flu vaccine.

H1N1/”Swine Flu”
It’s become a common strain of flu, is definitely in circulation this season, and it’s the one that hit the headlines in 2009. The vaccines available this season are designed to prevent this strain of flu.

WHEN YOU THINK YOU HAVE THE FLU…
Aches, pains, nausea, weakness, chills and fever…..??? Stay home and don’t share your germs! The flu is a viral disease spread by coming into contact with infected respiratory secretions and so there is no cure. Many people can get through the flu in 5-7 days with nothing but rest, hydration, nutrition and over the counter fever/pain relievers. But the flu is not fun. There are anti-viral medications available – they work to lessen symptoms and speed recovery, and work best when started at first sign of the flu. See your doctor to be tested for the flu and for treatment recommendations.

Take care of each other!
Helana

Here are some links to more information…..

* Basic Info from the CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freeresources/updated/a_flu_guide_for_parents.pdf
* Flu-Shot Finder: http://public.health.oregon.gov/PreventionWellness/FluPrevention/Pages/index.aspx……it’s not too late!!!
* Oregon-Specific FLU resources/statisticshttp://public.health.oregon.gov/PreventionWellness/FluPrevention/Pages/index.aspx
* Test your FLU IQ: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/fluiq.htm….just for fun!