Flu Virus Update

As you may have heard, the influenza (flu) virus is now widespread in our state. This year's predominant strain (H3N2) is a more virulent strain and has caused several deaths in our state already this flu season. 

From the CDC:

"Influenza A (H3N2) viruses are most common so far. H3N2-predominant seasons have been associated with more severe illness and mortality, especially in older people and young children, relative to seasons during which H1N1 or B viruses predominated. There are early indications that this season may be severe, especially for people aged 65 years and older and young children." 

REMINDERS:

1. Please encourage your students and staff to wash their hands frequently with plenty of   soap and warm water (if available).  Hand sanitizers help, but individuals should wash with soap and water as soon as possible.  

2. Practice correct cough etiquette by sneezing or coughing into a tissue or the bend of your elbow (and then wash hands).

3. Review flu signs and symptoms using link below.

4. STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK.

5. The CDC recommends that individuals should be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications before returning to work or school.  Fevers=contagious!

6.  We have masks for staff/students to wear if they have symptoms consistent with the flu virus.  (Runny/stuff nose, non-productive cough, sore throat, chills, fever greater than 100, body aches, fatigue, headache, chest pain).  These are worn to prevent the virus from spreading to others via respiratory secretions.  

7.  If you have not received your flu shot, it is not too late.  Although the H3N2 virus is not covered in this year's vaccine, the vaccine may help lessen the severity of H3N2 illness.

8. Complications from the flu include sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, and death.  The flu is also more severe in individuals with chronic health conditions.  We have a large number of students and staff with asthma and other medical conditions. Please help protect our students and staff from serious illness and potential life-threatening conditions.

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