Reduce Your Risk of Influenza

  • Flu season in our community usually begins in the fall, perhaps October and ends in the spring, perhaps April. Anyone can catch the flu, but young children, older adults and people with certain health conditions are at risk for serious complications. Flu symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headaches, and fatigue.

    Next time you visit your child's doctor for Strep Throat, Influenza, RSV or any other communicable disease, please ask your doctor for a note for your school nurse confirming the diagnosis. This helps School Health Services to monitor health and disease trends in the school.

    How to reduce your risk of catching the flu:

    • Get the flu shot! Call your doctor’s office, or check your local pharmacy.
    • Wash your hands frequently (15-20 seconds in warm, soapy water) or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Cover your cough! Use a tissue to cough or sneeze into and dispose of it quickly! If you don’t have a tissue, cover your mouth and nose with your elbow, like a vampire!
    • Stay away from sick people!
    • Eat healthy, exercise and be sure to get enough sleep!
    • Wipe down frequently used items or surfaces (doorknobs, toys, remote controls, etc.) with a disinfectant wipe!

    You should get a flu vaccine before flu begins spreading in our community. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body, so make plans to get vaccinated early in fall, before flu season begins. CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October. Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout flu season, even into January or later.

    Remember: if you or your child has a fever of 100 degrees or more, stay at home! Your child may return to school when the temperature has been lower than 100 degrees, without fever-reducing medication, for 24 hours.

    If flu-like symptoms are present for more than 24 hours, seek medical care. Your doctor can prescribe antiviral medications that will help reduce the risk of serious complications and may shorten the duration of your illness. These medications work best if they are started within 2 days of getting sick.

    For further information, please call Panhandle Health at (208) 415-5100 or go to the CDC website at CDC Influenza (flu).