Influenza Letter

Influenza Letter
Posted on 03/01/2019
February 28, 2019
Dear Parents/Guardians:
We have seen an increase in flu activity during the second half of February throughout Summit
County, and we are seeing more Akron Public Schools students absent from school with flu-like
symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat). We are writing this letter to you to share some ways that
you can help to prevent flu in your child and family, and also in the community.
Recommendations: Follow these simple steps to help keep your child from getting the
flu, or passing it on to others:
1. If you or your child gets sick, make sure to see your healthcare provider as soon as
possible. Your provider may want to do additional testing or prescribe medication that
could help you get better. Make sure to stay home until at least 24 hours after the
fever goes away. If taking medicine such as Tylenol to control fever, you must wait
until the fever is gone for 24 hours without using medicine before returning to school or
work. Children with asthma should be sure to take their medications as prescribed and
have an asthma control plan with their healthcare provider for use during infections and
when asthma worsens.
2. Other ways to prevent the spread of influenza and other respiratory illness:
 Encourage sick family members to cover their nose and mouth when they cough
and sneeze, using a tissue or bent arm. This helps keep germs from spreading to
 Encourage family members to wash hands often with soap and water. If soap and
water are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizers may be used.
 Clean surfaces frequently such as desks, doorknobs, computer keyboards, faucet
handles, and phones.
3. Since flu season continues through early May, it is still not too late to get a flu shot.
Everyone over the age of 6 months should get the flu shot each year, except in very
rare cases. This includes children, parents, grandparents, and all other members of the
family. There are many places offering the flu shot, including your primary care
provider(s), Summit County Public Health, most pharmacies, and most health clinics.
If your child gets sick, remember to keep them home and notify your school nurse. This
will help us to keep everyone as healthy as possible during this flu season. In addition, once
your child is fever free, please keep her or him home if he or she is not feeling well.
Our deans and teachers are understanding and will work with your child to make up any
missed work/tests.
If you have any questions, please contact the Summit County Public Health Communicable
Disease Unit at (330) 375-2662. For more information on flu, please visit the Center for Disease
Control and Prevention’s website:

Is Your Child Too Sick for School?

Ask Yourself 3 Things: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends
you answer a few key questions.
1. Does your child have a fever? Fevers of 101 F or more are generally a
sign of illness, so children should stay home from school.
2. Is your child well enough to participate in class? If they seem too run
down to get much out of her lessons, keep them home.
3. Does she have an illness like the flu or pinkeye? If you think they might,
don't let them go back to school until you know they aren’t contagious anymore.
When Your Child Is Sick: Here’s what you need to keep an eye on:
Fever is a sign that your body is fighting the germs that are making you sick. It’s a
common symptom of infections like flu. If it’s 101 F or higher, wait until your child is
fever-free for at least 24 hours before sending her back to school.
Diarrhea happens because of an infection, food poisoning, or medications like
antibiotics. It can lead to dehydration, so give her a lot of fluids to drink. Keep your child
home until her stools are solid and your doctor gives the OK.
Vomiting is another way our bodies get rid of germs. It’s usually caused by a stomach
virus or infection. Keep your child at home if she has vomited twice or more in the last
24 hours. She can go back to school after her symptoms clear up or the doctor says
she’s no longer contagious.
Severe cough and cold symptoms should keep your child home. A serious cough
could be a symptom of contagious conditions like whooping cough, viral bronchitis, or
croup. It can also be a warning sign of asthma or allergies.
Sore throats can be a symptom of a common cold or strep. If she has a mild cold,
she can go to school. If your child's been diagnosed with strep throat, keep her at
home for at least 24 hours after she starts antibiotics.
Pinkeye (conjunctivitis) is contagious, and a child should stay home for the first 24
hours after treatment begins. Symptoms include eye redness, irritation, swelling, and
Rashes can be a sign of contagious illnesses like chickenpox, bacterial meningitis, or
impetigo (a skin infection). Keep your child home until she’s been diagnosed. She can
head back to the classroom after her symptoms are gone and the doctor gives the OK.

February 25, 2019
This is the season for respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses including: colds,
influenza, pertussis (whooping cough), pneumonia, stomachaches and diarrhea.

Tips for Respiratory Etiquette

 Wash hands frequently; may use hand sanitizer gels if soap & water is not
 Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Unwashed hands carry lots of germs!
 Cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and throw away promptly.
 When a tissue is not available, turn head and cough or sneeze into shoulder or
 Clean shared surfaces (door knobs, telephones, etc.) frequently
Tips to prevent spread of GI Illness

Gastrointestinal illness can be highly contagious, especially in close environments such
as daycare centers and school. It can be easily passed person to person by contact by
contaminated surfaces, objects or through food prepared by someone who was
recently was ill with gastrointestinal illness and did not wash their hands well.
Good handwashing is key to prevention of the spread of germs.
 after using the bathroom
 before eating or preparing foods
 or touching animals
Report Necessary Diseases and Outbreaks to Health Department
If you have any questions, concerns, or need additional information please do not hesitate
to call the Summit County Public Health Communicable Disease Unit at 330-375-2662
and ask to speak to a nurse.
Please see attachment, Is Your Child Too Sick for School?

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