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H1N1 Flu Information

The Cheney School District continues to work closely with the Spokane Regional Health District,  Washington State Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local partners to assure timely and appropriate response to the new H1N1 Pandemic virus.

 

 

 

Action Steps for Parents to Protect Your Child and Family from the Flu this School Year

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 4 main ways you and your family may keep from getting sick with the flu at school and at home:

  1. Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  2. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.  If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder; not into your hands.
  3. Stay home if you or your child is sick for at least 24 hours after there is no longer a fever or signs of a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine). Keeping sick students at home means that they keep their viruses to themselves rather than sharing them with others.
  4. Get your family vaccinated for seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 flu when vaccines are available.

If flu conditions become MORE severe, parents should consider the following steps:

  • Extend the time sick children stay home for at least 7 days, even if they feel better sooner. People who are still sick after 7 days should continue to stay home until at least 24 hours after symptoms have completely gone away.
  • If a household member is sick, keep any school-aged brothers or sisters home for 5 days from the time the household member became sick. Parents should monitor their health and the health of other school-aged children for fever and other symptoms of the flu.

 

Follow these steps to prepare for the flu:

  • Plan for child care at home if your child gets sick or their school is dismissed.
  • Plan to monitor the health of the sick child and any other children in the household by checking for fever and other symptoms of flu.
  • Identify if you have children who are at higher risk of serious disease from the flu and talk to your healthcare provider about a plan to protect them during the flu season.  Children at high risk of serious disease from the flu include: children under 5 years of age and those children with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma and diabetes.
  • Identify a separate room in the house for the care of sick family members.
  • Update emergency contact lists.
  • Collect games, books, DVDs and other items to keep your family entertained if schools are dismissed or your child is sick and must stay home.

What is the flu?

 

Flu also called influenza is a contagious disease of the lungs and airways.  Usually influenza viruses are spread in droplets of cough and sneezes. 

 

Flu symptoms:

 

Fever                                       Headache                     Runny Nose

Body Aches                              Cough              Stomach and Intestinal Discomfort

Extreme Tiredness                    Sore Throat                             

 

How does seasonal flu differ from H1N1 Pandemic Flu?

Seasonal Flu        
 
                          
  • Occurs every year usually in the winter.
  • For most people, it is an unpleasant but not life-threatening infection.
  • Affects up to about 10% of the population.
  • Annual vaccination is available for those at risk of serious illness.           
H1N1 Pandemic Flu
 
  • Occurs rarely (three times in the 20th century).
  • It could be a more serious infection for everyone.
  • May affect around 25% of the population.
  • Vaccine probably would not be available in the early stages of the H1N1 pandemic.

According to the Washington State Department of Health, an epidemic is an outbreak of a disease that occurs in one of several limited areas, like a city, state, or country.  Once the disease spreads beyond the borders of several countries and affects many countries across the globe, it is called a pandemic.  In the 20th century, several pandemics of influenza occurred – the biggest one in 1918.  During that pandemic, at least 500,000 Americans died and it has been estimated that there were as many of 10 million deaths worldwide.

 

In the case of a pandemic flu event, the school district will follow the district’s Infectious Disease Policy and implement the district planning, response and recovery procedures.