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Let’s Keep the Flu Out of School!

 
 

flu-bug

Every year the flu (influenza) is spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes or even talks to someone within 6 feet.  It can also be spread by touching an object that has the flu virus on it and then touching your own mouth or nose. In children, symptoms start 1-4 days after the virus enters the body so even children who appear well may be spreading the virus to others.

We all know that it is especially important for children with chronic illnesses to be immunized.  However, every year even healthy children can fall seriously ill from the flu and require hospitalization.  The website www.familiesfightingflu.org carries the stories of families of healthy children who suffered serious effects, even death, from the flu.

The single best way to protect your children from the flu is to get them vaccinated each year.  A higher number of vaccinated staff and students in our school will curtail the spread of flu at school.  It is best to be vaccinated as early as possible, before the virus becomes active in our community.  It takes two weeks for the antibodies to develop that protect us from infection so the time to get your child vaccinated is right now!

Last year, we had 22 doctor-diagnosed cases of the flu that were reported to me.  I am sure the number was higher because not every child with flu-like symptoms gets to the doctor and not everyone remembers to report contagious illnesses to the school nurse.  While we have no control over whether it will be a “good” or “bad” year for the flu, we can all make it a healthier year at Tashua by getting vaccinated and vaccinating the ones we love!

Susan Quigley, RN, BSN, NCSN

Tashua School Nurse