The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccineeach year
Influenza is primarily spread person-to-person through coughing or sneezing. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, symptoms of seasonal flu include fever, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headache, fatigue, lack of appetite, and coughing
If you have concerns regarding your child’s health, please contact his/her primary care provider. It is also very important to report a diagnosed or a suspected infectious condition to the school nurse. As always, such health information is kept strictly confidential.
The District encourages families to discuss seasonal flu and reinforce that the best defense against any illness is practicing good hygiene. Parents should note the following recommendations:
- Avoid close contact - Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
Frequent hand washing - Proper hand washing practices mean using warm water, soap, and scrubbing for a minimum of 20 seconds. Students should wash their hands after the following activities: using the toilet, coughing, sneezing, using tissues, eating or drinking, and before/after wound care
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth - Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
Sneezing and coughing - Remind your child to sneeze and cough into the bend of his/her elbow or into a tissue to cover his/her nose and mouth.
Stay home when ill - Students are advised to remain home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever, or signs of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medicines. They should stay home even if they are using antiviral drug
- Practice other good health habits - Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
- Get a yearly Flu Vaccine - Flu vaccinations should begin soon after the vaccine becomes available, ideally by October. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination can be given throughout the flu season, even in January or later.
The District’s certified school nurses will educate staff during faculty meetings, team meetings, and by using email communication. They will provide education regarding healthy habits to students via school-wide assemblies, classroom lessons, and daily announcements. The health care assistant nurses will address students, staff, and parents in their daily communications in a manner consistent with West Shore School District and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
In addition to the regular custodial cleaning and sanitizing routines, the West Shore School District continues to take a variety of measures in an effort to prevent the spread of communicable diseases including the flu virus. As always, the District continues to be diligent in order to maintain a safe and healthy environment for all students and staff.