Influenza activity has increased in Minnesota over the last couple of weeks as reported from the Minnesota Department of Health. Flu-related hospitalizations, positive influenza tests and the number of influenza-like illness outbreaks have all increased. Influenza (also known as the flu) is a very common upper respiratory disease. Influenza is not what is commonly referred to as “the stomach flu”, which is a term used by some people to describe illnesses causing vomiting or diarrhea. Influenza often results in more severe illness than other respiratory viruses.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is urging all Minnesotans to get flu shots to protect them from the virus. If you have not gotten a flu shot this year, it is not too late! Although the vaccine is not 100 percent effective for everyone, it can make the infection much less severe.
Cover your cough:
Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
Be aware of flu symptoms:
Fever, headache, fatigue, cough, sore throat, and body aches. Influenza-like illness (ILI) is defined as a fever (at least 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit) and a cough or sore throat.
When to call the Doctor:
Call your child’s doctor if they: have a persistent high fever or a fever with a rash, have trouble breathing or rapid breathing, have bluish skin color, are not drinking enough fluids, seem very sleepy or lethargic, seem confused, have flu symptoms that get better, but then get worse.
Stay home if ill:
Stay home from work or school when you are ill. Students and staff can return to school 24 hours after their fever is gone without fever-reducing medication, and are feeling well enough to participate in school. Flu symptoms may last 5-7 days.
Use this questionnaire each day your child is sick with flu-like symptoms and follow the instructions for when to keep your child home.
Influenza for parents link: