January 11, 2018
Dear Parents and Guardians,
This is the time of year when many people in our community become ill with influenza, also called “flu.”
The flu is widespread earlier and more severe this year in San Diego and throughout the nation. The flu is not just a bad cold. Although the symptoms may be similar to colds and other respiratory illnesses, flu can make people very ill. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, severe muscle or body aches, shaking chills, headache, and fatigue. Children may also have nausea and vomiting with the flu. The very young and very old are most vulnerable to serious flu illness. Often, when school-age children become ill, they bring home the virus to other family members, including young infants and grandparents.
The best way to protect yourself and your family from flu is to get vaccinated. It is not too late for this season! Everyone in your family who is 6 months and older is recommended to get the flu vaccine. Vaccine is available at your medical home, community health centers, public health centers, and retail pharmacies. For a list of locations, visit www.sdiz.org or call 2-1-1.
Here are some additional ways you and your children can help prevent the spread of flu:
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often (click here to see a handwashing video for kids and adults);
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your arm;
- Keep your children home from school when they are sick; and
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth whenever possible.
Even if your child has had the flu vaccine, if your child has symptoms of the flu, it is important to seek medical attention for your child. A child with influenza should not attend school until at least 24 hours after fever ends or your provider indicates that the child is no longer contagious to others.
Help your children stay healthy in school by getting them vaccinated for flu. You can learn more about the flu and how to prevent it by going to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Flu Information for Parents website here.
Dr. Jay C. Marquand, Director of Alternative Education