What to Know About the Flu

January 26, 2018

With flu season upon us, it is important that we work together to keep ourselves and our children and schools healthy.  By keeping ourselves and our children flu-free, we benefit the community as a whole.  Additionally, healthy students miss fewer days of school, which results in less stress on the family.

Flu viruses are thought to spread mainly from person to person through coughs and sneezes of infected individuals.  People may also become infected by touching something with flu virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes.

Symptoms and Emergency Warning Signs

Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Body Aches
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Tiredness
  • Sometimes diarrhea and vomiting

Emergency warning signs that indicate a person should get medical care right away:

Young children:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve, but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with Rash

Adults:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve, but then return with fever and worse cough

Simple Steps for Keeping Healthy During Flu Season

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to prevent getting the flu is to get a flu vaccine
  • Practicing good health habits, such as:
    • Washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
    • Covering mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing or coughing
    • Avoiding sharing drinks, water bottles or silverware with others
    • Drink plenty of water and eat a healthy diet
  • You can help prevent the flu from spreading at home by disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, toys, etc.
  • If you or your child shows any of the following symptoms: fever greater than 100, AND cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, please STAY HOME or keep them home and contact your physician.  
  • Those who get flu-like symptoms at school should go home and stay home until at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medication.

For additional information on flu visit:  www.cdc.gov/flu or www.texasflu.org