Avoiding the Flu
Post date: Jan 11, 2013 8:5:23 PM
Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.
How Flu Spreads
People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own eyes, mouth or nose. To avoid this, people should wash their hands often with soap and water (Wash for 20 seconds or sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice). If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Bed sheets, eating utensils, and dishes belonging to those who are sick should not be shared without washing thoroughly first. Eating utensils can be washed either in a dishwasher or by hand with water and soap and do not need to be cleaned separately. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that might be contaminated with germs like the flu. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it, then wash you hands.
The Flu Is Contagious
Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Children may pass the virus for longer than 7 days. Symptoms start 1 to 4 days after the virus enters the body. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Some persons can be infected with the flu virus but have no symptoms. During this time, those persons may still spread the virus to others.
Signs and symptoms of flu
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms:
Fever or feeling feverish/chills *It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever*
Runny or stuffy nose
Muscle or body aches
Fatigue (very tired)
Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
PLEASE KEEP YOUR CHILD HOME IF YOU SUSPECT THE FLU
It is recommended by the CDC that your child stays home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone except to get medical care. The fever should be gone without the use of fever reducing medicine.