What are the symptoms of the H1N1 flu virus?
The symptoms of the H1N1 flu virus are like that of the regular “seasonal” flu. You or your child will experience a sudden or onset of fever (higher than 100), cough, runny nose, sore throat, and all over body aches. Many persons have reported experiencing diarrhea as well. If you or your child have these symptoms, you can assume you have the flu. The symptoms will usually last 4-5 days, but you can spread the virus for up to seven days after the onset of symptoms.
How can parents help reduce the number of flu cases in our schools and communities?
- Keep sick children at home. If your child exhibits flu-like symptoms, keep him/her home from all activities such as after school programs, dances, movies, and other events where people gather. Contact your primary care health provider or the Liberty County Health Department (850-643-2415) for further instructions.
- If the school nurse/health aide determines that your child exhibits flu-like symptoms you will be called to pick him or her up. He/she will be monitored in an enviroment away from other students until you or your designee arrive. Please be sure that the school has current contact/medical information.
- When your child returns to school after an illness, be specific in your excusal note regarding symtoms, so that he/she can be monitored appropriately.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover coughs and sneezes. Teach your child to cover his/her coughs and sneezes with tissues or by coughing into the inside of the elbow.
- Wash hands with soap and water. Teach your child to wash his/her hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds (singing the “Happy Birthday” song twice). Set a good example by doing this yourself.
- Teach your child the proper use of hand sanitizer. Gels, rubs, and hand wipes work well, as long as they contain 60% alcohol.
- Teach your child not to share personal items such as food, drinks or clothing.
- Check with your health care provider about getting a seasonal flu shot. Regular seasonal flu vaccine is available, and although it will not protect against the H1N1 Swine Flu, it will help minimize the chance that your child, classmates, school faculty and staff may take the flu home to their families.
For more information about the H1N1 virus go to www.MyFluSafety.com.