The Health Protection Agency report that they expect this to be a ‘normal’ flu season; they are no longer experiencing a pandemic. The virus that caused the 2009 pandemic, ‘swine flu’, may be one of the common flu viruses circulating this winter, but this is not a pandemic as the virus has been circulating in our communities for some time.
The most important measure to prevent the spread of flu is to have a flu vaccination of those in high risk groups. If any pupils are in high risk groups, they should get vaccinated through their GP surgery.
It is very important to try and prevent the spread of flu within schools by following the measures listed below:
- Any child with a fever should stay at home.
- They should not return to the school until they have had at least 48 hours without fever or other flu symptoms.
- Mouths should be covered when coughing and paper tissues used when noses are blown. The paper tissues should be promptly placed in a waste bin for disposal. We have tissues at school but it’s a good idea for your child to have their own, too.
- Because flu viruses can be carried on hands, please encourage your child to regularly wash their hands, particularly after noses are blown or wiped.
- People affected by fever should be encouraged to rest and to drink plenty of water or other fluids. This will speed up recovery. Some paracetamol in small amounts should make things more comfortable.
Most people affected by flu–like illness will start to improve after 2 to 3 days – children tend to get better quicker than adults. Rarely, those affected by flu-like illness may develop breathing problems. If that happens, they should contact their GP.