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Influenza (Flu)

Influenza, often called flu, is a contagious respiratory disease. Flu refers to illnesses caused by a number of different viruses. Most healthy people recover from the flu without problems, but certain people are at high risk for serious complications. Flu symptoms may include fever, coughing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, body aches, chills and fatigue. 
 

Flu information from Public Health

Parents of children with chronic health conditions should contact their child’s physician at the first sign of influenza (flu) so they can receive early antiviral treatment. It can be difficult to tell the difference between flu, colds and allergies, but influenza is something that many children haven’t experienced before, and they often feel significantly more ill than with other common respiratory illnesses. Influenza Information for Parents.pdf

When providing care to a household member who is sick with influenza, the most important ways to protect yourself and others who are not sick are to:
* Keep the sick person away from other people as much as possible, especially others who are at high risk for complications from influenza
* Remind the sick person to cover their coughs, and clean their hands with soap and water often.  If soap and water are not available, they should use an alcohol-based hand rub, especially after coughing and/or sneezing
* Have everyone in the household clean their hands often, using soap and water (or an alcohol-based hand rub, if soap and water are not available).  Children may need reminders or help keeping their hands clean Steps to Lessen the Spread of Flu in the Home.pdf

The main way that illnesses like colds and flu are spread is from person to person by coughs and sneezes. This can happen when droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air and make contact with the mouth or nose of people nearby. Droplets from an infected person can also make contact with environmental surfaces (like the tops of tables). The virus can then be spread from those surfaces if a person touches the droplets and then touches his eyes, mouth, or nose before washing their hands. Control of Pandemic Flu Virus on Environmental Surfaces in Homes and Public Places.pdf 
 

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