Simple Actions Can Slow the Spread of Flu in Schools
January 3, 2014
KANSAS CITY, MO – Students across the metro will be heading back to class on Monday, and so will germs that cause respiratory illnesses like the flu. Local health officials want to remind students and parents of everyday preventative actions they can take to slow the spread of germs that can cause the flu.
Flu viruses are thought to spread mainly from person to person through droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk. Flu viruses also may spread when people touch something with flu virus on it and then touch their mouth, eyes, or nose.
People infected with flu may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and lasting up to five to seven days after becoming sick. That means you may be able to spread the flu to someone else before you know you are sick as well as while you are sick.
There are simple actions students and parents can take to slow the spread of germs and prevent illness:
- Get your flu vaccine if you haven’t already done so.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you or your child gets sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. The fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
Health departments across the metro continue to see a rise in influenza cases and recommend everyone over the age of 6 months to get a flu shot. Vaccine is widely available in the metro.
More information about influenza, symptoms and prevention tips can be found at http://www.jocoflu.org or http://www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm.