HISD school nurses attended a training session recently on the best way to manage and prevent the spread of communicable diseases such as influenza.
In Texas, the flu is currently being reported at higher levels than this time last year. The same holds true for HISD, where more elementary school children have been diagnosed with the flu than other grade levels.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. While most of the viruses spreading this season are different from what is in the vaccine, a vaccination can still provide protection. If you and your children have not been vaccinated this winter, get your flu vaccine now.
CDC recommends the following everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, if possible
- When coughing or sneezing, use a tissue or your sleeve to avoid spreading germs
- Wash your hands as often as possible or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, because germs are spread primarily through contact
- Get plenty of sleep, drink plenty of fluids, stay physically active, and eat nutritious foods
HISD asks that you keep your child at home when they are sick or have a fever. Don’t send them back to school until they have been free of fever (without fever-reducing medicine) for at least 24 hours.
The flu is different from a cold and usually comes on suddenly. Watch for these flu symptoms:
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills (not everyone with the flu will have a fever)
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Feeling tired
Resources: Visit HISD’s Office of Health & Medical Services website. Get free advice from an experienced bilingual nurse by calling the Memorial Hermann Nurse Health Line at 713-338-7979. Learn more about the flu by visiting the CDC website, Flu.gov, or Texas Dept. of State Health Services.