Dear West Harrison Community School,
The annual flu season is upon us with some students/ community members having confirmed cases of influenza as well as other respiratory infections and positive cases of norovirus/viral gastroenteritis (vomiting and diarrhea). So I thought I’d update with just a few friendly reminders…
There can be confusion about what the “flu” really means.
- Sometimes flu is used to describe vomiting and/or diarrhea (or the stomach flu)
- Sometimes it is used to describe the common cold and
- Sometimes it is used to describe a viral respiratory infection caused by the influenza virus
The best protection against influenza is the annual flu vaccine.
If you or your family have not had the vaccine this year it is recommended all people over 6 months old be vaccinated. The influenza vaccine does not protect against the stomach flu or colds. For the young, the elderly and those with medical conditions, influenza can be a very serious (possibly fatal) disease and may require hospitalization.
We ask that our employees, family members and students monitor your health closely and stay home if you feel ill.
If your child feels unwell:
- Check the temperature before taking any fever-reducing medication
- If the temperature is 100.5 or above (before using fever-reducing medicine) please stay home.
- Keep your child home until they have had no fever for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medicines.
- Keep the school informed by contacting the school office. If your child has a specific diagnosis that they were tested for please let the office know so we can keep track.
Tips to help prevent illnesses to yourself and others:
- MOST IMPORTANTLY: Practicing good personal hygiene by most washing hands thoroughly and frequently or using hand sanitizer especially after coughing or sneezing, before eating, and after being in public places or using the bathroom.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth (T-zone)
- Avoid close contact with people who are ill
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- If no tissue is available cough or sneeze into your arm or sleeve.
- If you have a fever stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
- If you are vomiting or have diarrhea, stay home until symptoms have been resolved for 24 hours.
- Keep your immune system strong by practicing good health habits which include getting plenty of sleep, being physically active, managing your stress, drinking plenty of fluids and eating nutritious foods.
Thank you in advance for working with us to keep your students and the staff healthy in school!