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Influenza Advisory & Prevention Tips

public health prevent. promote, protect logo Berkeley/Morgan County Board of Health

122 Waverly Ct

Martinsburg, West Virginia 25403-1214

304-263-5131

Dear Parent or Guardian:

Currently influenza and influenza-like illness (ILI) activity is prevalent.  To prevent widespread flu in the school, we recommend that your child stay home from school if experiencing flu or cold symptoms.  To decide whether or not to send your child to school, please consider the following guidelines.

Definitely keep your child at home for treatment and observation if he or she has any of these symptoms:

  • Fever-greater than 100°F and your child should stay home until at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever. This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medicines (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen).
  • Vomiting (even once)
  • Diarrhea
  • Chills
  • General malaise or feelings of fatigue, discomfort, weakness or muscle aches
  • Frequent congested (wet) or croup cough
  • Lots of nasal congestion with frequent blowing of nose

To help prevent the flu and other colds, teach your children good hygiene habits:

  • Wash hands frequently
  • Do not touch eyes, nose or mouth
  • Cover mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing. Using a paper tissue, throw it away and then wash hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick

Colds and influenza are the most contagious during the first 48 hours.  A child who has a fever should remain at home until they are “fever free” for a minimum of 24 hours.   Often when a child awakens with vague complaints (the way colds and flu begin), it is wise to observe your child at home for an hour or two before deciding whether or not to bring to school.  Your child should be physically able to participate in all school activities on return to school.  Keeping a sick child at home will help minimize the spread of infections and viruses in the classroom.

It is recommended everyone 6 months of age and older get a seasonal flu vaccine each year.  You need this season’s influenza vaccine to protect against the influenza viruses most likely to circulate and cause illness this season.

Thank you in advance for helping this school year be as healthy as possible.

 

Sincerely,

Terrence Reidy, MD

Health Officer