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It’s Flu Season: What you need to know

By on November 30, 2011

Children may pass the flu virus for longer than seven days. Since symptoms start one to four days after the virus enters the body, children may even be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick.

Schools are instrumental in keeping communities healthy by posting information about hand hygiene in restrooms, providing flu prevention messages in daily announcements, and being vigilant about cleaning and disinfecting classroom materials.

  • Schools are an excellent place for flu virus to attack and spread.
  • Flu spreads mainly by respiratory droplets from coughing and sneezing, as well as from surfaces.
  • Some viruses can live for two hours or more on surfaces such as cafeteria tables, doorknobs, and desks.

DOWNLOAD THESE HELPFUL FACT SHEETS

Influenza Fact Sheet

Annual Flu Season Each flu season is unique and cannot be predicted. On average:

  • The U.S. flu season will peak from late November through March.
  • Approximately five to 20 percent of U.S. residents get the flu.
  • Influenza infections are associated with substantial medical costs, more than 200,000 hospitalizations and thousands of deaths every year in the U.S.

During the 2010/2011 flu season, 57.2 percent of Americans did not receive a flu vaccination.

Flu Transmission

  • Flu is a respiratory illness.
  • Flu viruses are spread mainly by respiratory droplets from
  • coughing and sneezing, as well as from surfaces.
  • Droplets can spread to others up to six feet away and may land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • Less often, a person may get the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose.

Treating Flu

While the CDC recommends flu vaccine as the first and most important step in preventing flu, antiviral drugs are a second line of defense against the flu.

Are You That Guy? Public Service Announcement (PSA): Last year the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) launched Are You That Guy?, a national influenza educational campaign that encourages personal and social responsibility by raising awareness of how easily the flu virus spreads.

FluFACTS.com: This site provides a variety of information about the flu including symptoms, facts, tips and prevention and treatment options. The site also contains a “Flu Tracker” where people can track the flu by inputting their zip code and also sign up to receive alerts when the flu is in their area. http://www.flufacts.com/index.jsp

Free “Fight the Flu” iPhone app: With this free “Fight the Flu” mobile app, you can track the flu activity in your area, receive free email alerts, check the symptoms of flu, get flu prevention tips and learn what to do if you’ve been exposed to flu. http://www.flufacts.com/iphone-app.jsp

FluFACTS Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/FluFACTS
Download free Tamiflu FluFacts below by clicking on the links below:

  • Flu causes high rates of absenteeism in America’s public and private schools where approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population attend or work.
  • Antibiotics, over-the-counter treatments and home remedies such as chicken soup do not treat or prevent the flu.
  • Antiviral medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) directly fight the flu virus in the body. When used for treatment, antivirals can shorten the time of sickness by one or two days.
  • Antivirals are not sold over-the-counter, a prescription from a doctor is needed.
  • Antivirals are different from antibiotics.
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