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Preparing for the Flu
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
‘Tis the season… for the flu!
While the Onondaga County Health Department has reported an average of five to six cases of influenza each week since the end of October, the number of recorded cases tends to increase at some point during the months of December and January.
In anticipation, the Liverpool Central School District Health Office would like to share some important information that can help you and your child prepare for the flu.
Guidelines to decrease the chances of getting influenza:
- Vaccination if available: The single best way to protect yourself and your children from the flu is to get a flu shot. Please contact your health care provider to check availability or to schedule an appointment for a vaccination. The Onondaga County Health Department also offers a weekly flu vaccine clinic for the public every Wednesday, from 9 a.m. to noon in room 30 (basement level) of the Civic Center. Please call 315-435-2000 for availability of vaccine. The clinic provides flu vaccine for Onondaga County residents 6 months of age and older. This is a walk-in clinic so appointments are not necessary.
- Hand washing: This is a great time to help your children understand how important it is to wash hands to decrease the risk of getting sick.
Guidelines to decrease the spread of influenza in the community:
- Stay home when sick: People with flu-like illness (fever of more than 100? F with cough or unexplained sore throat, and runny nose) should stay home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever without the use of fever-reducing drugs like Tylenol or Motrin. They should stay home even if they are using antiviral drugs.
- Cover your cough and sneeze: This is a great time to remind children how to cover their nose and mouth if they cough or sneeze so that they are not spreading germs.
- Ill students and staff: Students and staff who appear to have flu-like symptoms will be sent home.
- Routine cleaning: School staff will routinely clean areas that students and staff both touch often with cleaners they typically use.
- Early treatment of high-risk students and staff: People who are at high risk for influenza complications and who become ill with influenza-like illness should speak with their health care providers as soon as possible. People at risk include those who are pregnant, have asthma or diabetes, have compromised immune systems, or have neuromuscular diseases.
Planning tips for parents to prepare:
- Develop a plan if your child becomes sick and needs to stay home for three to five days with the flu
- Make sure that the school has all the current contact and emergency contact information necessary for your child
- Consider contacting your health care provider to schedule your children’s regular flu shots as soon as possible.
If you do not have health insurance for your children and are interested in learning more about public health insurance, call NY State of Health at 1-855-355-5777 or visit its Web site online for more information. There are some eligibility rules. Child Health Plus is New York’s comprehensive health care program for families who are income eligible.