Thursday, October 22, 2020

Carroll ISD Monitoring Flu Season

flu_seasonWith the flu season upon us, Carroll ISD is taking steps to keep Dragons healthy during this time. District Lead Nurse Karen Flexer is working with campus nurses to monitor and report flu cases.

Student and staff absences have been steadily increasing as CISD receives reports of flu, strep throat and now a highly contagious stomach virus. School officials say the winter break should help the situation, but parents are reminded not to send students to school sick. Details of the return policy are available on our Health Services webpage.

The Carroll ISD Student Services Department will keep the district apprised of spikes or double-digit changes in student absences. The Personnel Services Department is monitoring the same for employee absences.

What is influenza (also called flu)?
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.

Signs and Symptoms of Flu
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms:
Fever* or feeling feverish/chills Cough Sore throat Runny or stuffy nose Muscle or body aches Headaches Fatigue (very tired)
*Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults. *It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

How Flu Spreads
Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or possibly their nose. Click here to view how flu travels.

Period of Contagiousness
You may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others for an even longer time.

Preventing the Flu: Good Health Habits Can Help Stop the Spread of Germs

  1. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.  When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  2. Stay home when you or a family member is sick.  If possible, stay home from school, work and outside extracurricular activities.  This will help protect others from catching your illness.
  3. Cough Etiquette and Hand Hygiene is good prevention.  Remember to cover your sneeze or cough.   Use a tissue or your elbow sleeve to prevent contaminating the space around you.  Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water frequently; if soap and water is unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or rub.
  4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.  Germs are spread after a person touches something that is contaminated and enters the body through the nose, eyes or mouth.
  5. Practice good health habits.  Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage stress, eat nutritious foods and drink plenty of fluids.
  6. Contact your health care provider or seek medical attention immediately if you are having difficulty breathing, have chest pain, confused or altered mental status.  Also, call your doctor if you are vomiting and unable to keep liquids down or your symptoms continue to get worse.
  7. Create family discussions related to the flu.  Share ideas regarding ways to stop the spread of germs.  Disinfect heavily trafficked surfaces, shared items and toys at home and discourage sharing utensils and water bottles.

Carroll ISD Exclusion Policy
Remember to keep your child at home if they are ill with fever of 100 degrees or greater.  School policy states a child should be excluded from school until they are fever free for 24 hours without the assistance of fever reducing medicine.   If your child is sent home with fever, you must wait the required 24 hours before re-admittance.  Signs and symptoms of illness or medications may also prohibit a student from attending school comfortably and efficiently.   It is our goal to create a safe, healthy environment for each of our students.

Carroll ISD is tracking the flu cases in our district.  If your child has tested positive for flu, please let your campus know about the diagnosis when you call in the absence.  We are only tracking confirmed cases from a health care provider.  Your school nurse is available if you have any questions or concerns regarding your family’s health.

Helpful Links
* Cold-flu prevention checklist
* 2014-2015 Influenza Season visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website
* Six ways to fight the flu