The 411 on Influenza
From our partners at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children and HealthONE / Dr. Wendi Drummond
It is that time of year again. Fever, cough, sore throat, muscle or body aches, headache, fatigue, runny or stuffy nose. Children may also have symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea. These are all symptoms of influenza…or the “flu.”
Influenza or “flu” season is upon us, with cases of influenza already being identified in the Denver area. Influenza can be a serious disease that can result in hospitalization and serious complications. It is caused by a virus that is passed from one person to another by droplets when people who are infected with the virus cough, talk or sneeze. Complications of flu include bacterial pneumonias, ear or sinus infections, and can cause more serious illness in persons with chronic health conditions including pregnant women; those with asthma, weak immune systems, diabetes, or heart disease; children younger than five years old (especially younger than two); and adults older than 65.
The best way to prevent illness from influenza is to get vaccinated. Everyone six months of age and older should get a flu shot EVERY season. A flu vaccine is the best to way to try and reduce the chances that you or your family will get the flu and spread it to others. You can get a flu vaccine at your physician’s office, but it is also available in health centers, urgent care clinics, local clinics, and some pharmacies. Remember, a flu vaccine cannot cause flu illness.
Finally, DCSD is encouraging students, parents and staff to keep three simple steps in mind to prevent sickness of all types:
- Wash Your Hands
- Cover your cough or sneezes
- Stay home when you are sick