We’re at the height of flu season in Texas and schools are a prime location for the virus to spread. Parents, teachers and students are urged to take these five action steps to fend off the flu:
GET THE SHOT
Get the flu shot. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention it’s the single best way to protect against the flu. That goes for parents, teachers and students. The seasonal vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older unless they a specific contraindication to the flu vaccine. It’s not too late to get the shot as flu season peaks in February. And if you get the shot and do still get the flu those cases are usually milder.
Stay home when you’re sick.If you have the flu or flu symptoms, it’s best to stay home until you’re healthy. You want to remain at home until at least 24 hours after you are fever-free or free of the signs of fever (chills, feeling very warm, flushed appearance, sweating) without fever-reducing medicine, too.
Cover up. If you feel a cough or a sneeze coming on, reach for the tissue or your bent arm. And don’t use that tissue twice. When you’re done put it in the trash can and wash your hands.
Clean up. It’s not enough to cover your mouth and/or nose. You have to make sure those germs aren’t on your hands. Give your hands a good wash with soap and water for 20 seconds and dry your hands when you’re done. The American Red Cross has a “Scrub Club” with fun, interactive exercises for kids, parents and teachers that encourage proper handwashing. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol.
KNOW THE SYMPTOMS
Know the symptoms. Everyone reacts to the flu differently but if you at least know some of the common flu symptoms you have a head start. Coughing, sore throat, running or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue are all possible signs you have the flu. And, of course, let’s not forget about the fever. Just remember that not everyone with the flu will have a fever.
Looking for more information about what you can do to flight the flu at home and school? Go to https://www.dshs.texas.gov/flu/