Notes from the Nurse

With flu season upon us there are some things that can be done to help reduce the chance of getting/spreading this disease.

    * Stay home when you are sick.  If possible, stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick.
    * Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.  Throw the tissue away after use and wash your hands.  If a         tissue is not available, cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve, not your hand.  

    * Wash your hands with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.  If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-            based hand rub.

    * Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.  Germs spread this way.

    *Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces or objects.  Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work, or             school, especially when someone is ill.

This information is from the CDC (Centers fro Disease Control and Prevention).

How do you know if it is a cold or the flu?

With flu season upon us, how do we know if we have just a cold or if we have the flu?  Symptoms can be very similar and may overlap.  The common cold is caused by the rhinovirus or viruses affecting the upper respiratory tract.  Cold symptoms should begin to resolve in a week or so.  

The flu (short for influenza) is known as the "serious version" of the common cold in terms of symptoms.  It is caused by viruses influenza A or B  The symptoms are worse and do not go away within a week like the common cold.  If left untreated influenza may worsen and develop into pneumonia, bronchitis, and other severe respiratory infections.

        Cold Symptoms                                                                                        Flu Symptoms

        Fever                                                                                                           Fever and/or body aches

        Mild body Aches                                                                                          Muscle and body aches         

        Tiredness                                                                                                    Extreme fatigue   

        Dry cough                                                                                                    Dry cough

        Headache                                                                                                    Headache

        Runny or stuffy nose                                                                                    May not have runny/stuffy nose

                                                                                                                            Possible vomiting and diarrhea

  Preventive Measures

Transmission is similar for both viruses.  The best line of defense is to stay away from infected individuals as well as places they have been or items they have touched.  Physical steps to help prevent acquiring these illnesses are:  regular had washing with soap and water or use of alcohol based hand sanitizers, disinfecting surfaces that may have been in contact with contaminated individuals, avoiding sharing food, drinks, or eating utensils, and covering your mouth and nose with a tissue.  If you do not have a tissue cough or sneeze in your upper sleeve, not your hands.

Other ways to help prevent getting ill are adopting a healthy, well-balanced diet and lifestyle to boost your immune system and consider getting a seasonal flu vaccination/mist from your physician.

Since the symptoms of a cold and the flu overlap, be sure to see a healthcare provider, if your symptoms worsen or do not improve after a week.  

Remember if your student is exhibiting symptoms of an illness and is running a fever, please kep them home until fever free for 24 hours without medication.