Feb. 1, 2018 -- The number of local cases of influenza has been on the uptick in recent weeks, according to the Cayuga County Health Department – and Moravia Central School District is doing what it can to limit infections on campus.
Between Oct. 1, 2017, and Jan. 22, 2018, the county health department received reports of 393 cases of flu. That’s compared to just 48 confirmed cases during the same time period last year. In keeping with information disseminated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza A (H3N2) viruses have been the most commonly reported here this season. The Cayuga County Health Department has seen 325 cases of influenza A compared to 68 cases of influenza B. Of the 393 total cases, 76 (or 19 percent) were reported in children 18 years of age and younger.
For its part, Moravia school officials have stepped up the district’s efforts to disinfect high-contact areas in school buildings (i.e., doorknobs, computer keyboards, bathrooms, etc.), with additional hours focused on these specific areas of each building.
Below is more information about how to protect children against the flu and help them to seek treatment if they contract flu viruses.
What is it?
Influenza (the flu) is an infection of the nose, throat and lungs caused by influenza viruses. There are many different strains of the flu virus, and they are constantly changing. These viruses cause illness, hospital stays and deaths in the United States each year.
The flu can be very dangerous for children. Each year about 20,000 children younger than 5 years old are hospitalized due to flu complications, including pneumonia.
How can I protect my child against the flu?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the first and most important thing you can do is to get a flu vaccine for yourself and your child. Talk to your doctor. Or call the Cayuga County Health Department at 315-253-1560 to schedule an appointment.
- Vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older.
What can I do if my child gets sick?
Talk to your doctor early if you are worried about your child’s illness.
- Children 5 years and older without other health problems: Consult your doctor as needed and make sure your child gets plenty of rest and drinks enough fluids.
- Children younger than 5 — and especially those younger than 2 — and those of any age who have a long-term health condition such as asthma or diabetes are at greater risk for serious complications from the flu. Talk with your doctor.
What if my child seems very sick?
Seek emergency care or take your child to a doctor right away if he/she has any of the warning or emergency signs below:
- Fast breathing or trouble breathing
- Bluish or gray skin color
- Not drinking enough fluids (not going to the bathroom or making as much urine as he or she normally does)
- Severe or persistent vomiting
- Not waking up or not interacting
- Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
- Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
What are the symptoms of the flu?
Symptoms of the flu can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. Some people with the flu will not have a fever.
Can my child go to school or day care 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.
When can my child go back to school after having the flu?
Keep children home for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone. (Fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) A fever is defined as 100°F (37.8°C) or higher.