Flu season is here in Maine. While I have not heard of a case directly at school, I wanted to reach out to all of our FMS Families to remind you of ways to keep your children and yourself well and what to do if your child becomes ill. Prevention is key. Teach hand washing and coughing into sleeve. Have a child care plan or work plan if your child gets the flu. With the upcoming holiday season it is so important to take preventative steps- Hand washing being #1 especially before eating and after using the bathroom.
CDC recommends you "Take 3 Actions"
1. Get the yearly flu vaccine.
There is a free clinic today (11/25) at Woolwich School 11am-4 pm. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.
2. Take everyday preventative actions to stop the spread of germs.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
- If you are sick with flu symptoms, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) This is RSU #1 policy.
- 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.
3. Take antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them.
- If you are sick with flu, antiviral drugs can be used to treat your illness.
- Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics. They are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) and are not available over-the-counter.
- Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications.
- Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within 2 days of getting sick, but starting them later can still be helpful, especially if the sick person has a high risk factor or is very sick from flu. Follow your doctor’s instructions for taking this drug.
- Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people also may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.
If you have questions or concerns don't hesitate to call or email me.
Ricki (Erica) Waltz, RN BSNFisher-Mitchell School Nurse
Ph. 207-443-8265 ext. 104