"The flu season is upon us," Upper St. Clair School District nurses stated in an e-alert Friday issued to parents.
Nurses sent out a list of FAQs from the CDC to help parents and guardians. Here are some of them, courtesy of the CDC:
What is the flu?
The flu (influenza) is an infection of the nose, throat and lungs that is caused by the influenza virus. The flu can spread from person to person. Most people with flu are sick for about a week, but then feel better. However, some people (especially young children, pregnant women, older people and people with chronic health problems) can get very sick and some can die.
What are the symptoms of the flu?
Most people with the flu feel tired and have a fever, headache, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and sore muscles. Some people, especially children, may also have stomach problems and diarrhea. The cough can last two or more weeks.
How does the flu spread?
People who have the flu usually cough, sneeze and have a runny nose; this creates droplets with the virus in them. Other people can get the flu by breathing in these droplets or getting them in their nose or mouth. In most people, the flu can be spread from one day before getting sick to up to five to seven days after getting sick. This can be longer in children and in people with weakened immune systems.
How can I protect my child from the flu?
A flu vaccine is the best way to protect against the flu, therefore, it is very important to make sure your child receives the influenza vaccine. You can protect your child by getting a flu vaccine for yourself too. Also, encourage your child’s close contacts to get a flu vaccine. This is very important if your child is younger than five or has a chronic health problem like asthma or diabetes.
Who should get vaccinated?
Can my child go to school if he or she is sick?
No. Your child should stay home to rest and to avoid spreading the flu.
When can my child go back to school after having the flu?
Keep your child home from school until his or her temperature has been normal for 24 hours. Remind your child to cover his/her mouth when coughing or sneezing, to protect others.
Has the flu hit your family? How long did it take to recover? Tell us in the comments.
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