Date: January 19, 2018
The flu virus is upon us in Matagorda County! This letter is to advise you that Van Vleck ISD has had many students who have tested positive for the flu. It is important to know the difference between influenza, cold, and norovirus symptoms. All three are extremely contagious.
* Common symptoms of influenza flu include fever, headache, muscle and body aches, chills, sore throat, exhaustion and dry cough. Children may also have nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Influenza (flu) and cold viruses are spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing.
* Cold symptoms often come on gradually and they include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat and hacking cough.
* Norovirus-the stomach bug, causes acute gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines) and infected persons can feel extremely ill with diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain/cramping and may also experience headache and fever. Norovirus is spread by touching surfaces or objects and eating food or drinking liquids contaminated with the virus.
Steps to keep your child healthy:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to prevent influenza infection is to get a flu vaccine. There is no vaccine available for norovirus.
Talk to your child about practicing good health habits:
* Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can also be used if soap and water is not available.
* Cover mouth and nose into the inside of the elbow or with a tissue when sneezing or coughing and dispose of the tissue immediately into the trash
* Avoid touching the “T Zone”- eyes, nose and mouth.
* Avoid sharing drinks, water bottles, eating utensils, and cell phones.
Prevent spreading illness to others:
* Keep your sick child home from school until he/she has been fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication). It is important for your ill child to get rest and drink plenty of fluids.
* At home, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, toys, and commonly shared items.
- Wash contaminated clothing or linen immediately with detergent at the maximum available cycle length and then machine dry.
If your child is exhibiting signs or symptoms of the flu, please do not send them to school and have them checked by a physician. Please also notify the school if your child has tested positive for the flu. They will need a note to return to school.
The health and safety of the students and staff are our first priority.
Go to www.cdc.gov for more information or contact District Nurse Kim Wied, RN, BSN at 979-323-5036.