Thursday, September 10, 2009

Swine Flu Information - What You Need to Know to Make Your Own Informed Choices

Today I am sharing with you information I received from my school employers concerning the Swine Flu.

Local organizations continue to receive updates from the City Health Departments and other organizations about the impact of the H1N1 Virus (formerly known as “swine flu”) on school populations and the larger community. Although the most recent guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expects a greater impact of the H1N1 virus than in spring of 2009, communities are still urged not to panic.

Here are some guidelines to follow for you and your family:

Children must remain home for the duration of an illness. Children with flu-like symptoms should remain home for at least a 24 hour period after they no longer have a fever or signs of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medicines. A physician should be seen for an illness lasting more than a day or two (and for a fever, 100 degrees or more).

Some positive health practices to consider for your family:

· Wash hands frequently (after using the bathroom, before eating, etc.) with soap and lather for at least 20-30 seconds.

· Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose.

· Sneeze or cough into a tissue or an elbow instead of your hands.

Additional CDC Recommendations/Information for Parents and Guardians of School-Age Children include:

· Flu-like symptoms: 100 degree temperature, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, and overall tiredness. Some people may also vomit or have diarrhea.

· Plan for child care at home if your child gets sick or school is dismissed (for a minimum of five school days).

· Plan to monitor the health of the sick child and any other children by checking for fever and other symptoms of flu.

· Update emergency contact lists.

· Identify a separate room in the house for care of sick family members. Consider designating a single person as the main caregiver for anyone who gets sick.

· Pull together games, books, DVDs, and other items to keep your family entertained while at home.

· Consider getting your family vaccinated for seasonal flu and the 2009 H1N1 flu when vaccines are available.

Please visit the websites below for more information, updates, or answers to your questions about the H1N1 Virus.

· The Center for Disease Control and Prevention

· The US Department of Health and Human Services

· The California Department of Public Health

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