Influenza season is in full swing and the Salt Lake County Health Department has recently seen a marked increase in influenza cases in area schools. The Health Department is asking schools and parents to be proactive in their approach to influenza prevention and their response to cases of illness.
They recommend the following:
- Vaccination – Encourage your staff and students to receive a seasonal flu vaccine every year. Vaccinated people who still become ill will have less severe symptoms for a shorter duration than those who are unvaccinated and become ill.
- Hand Washing – Remind staff and students to engage in frequent, thorough hand washing. Wash with soap and warm water, and physically scrub for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizers are not an adequate replacement for proper hand washing.
- Cleaning – Flu viruses are relatively fragile, so standard cleaning and disinfecting practices are sufficient to remove or kill them.
- Stay Home When Ill – Keep ill students and staff home from work and school for the duration of their illness. If they must leave home (such as to receive medical care), encourage them to wear a mask and practice good etiquette by coughing and sneezing into a tissue or the inside of their elbow—NOT into their hands.