Flu Information for Families
What Is Influenza (also called flu)?
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.
Signs And Symptoms Of Flu
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms:
• Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
• Sore throat
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Muscle or body aches
• Fatigue (very tired)
• Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
How Flu Spreads
Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or possibly their nose.
Can My Child Go To School If He Or She Is Sick?
No. Your child should stay home to rest and to avoid giving the flu to other children or caregivers. Please contact your school site's Attendance Line to let your school know your child will be absent. The Attendance Line is available 24 hours per day, so you may call at night and leave a message if you know your child will be absent the next day.
When Can My Child Go Back To School After Having The Flu?
Please keep your child home from school for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone (fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine). Fever is defined as 100°F (37.8°C) or higher.