Seasonal Virus Alert
Seasonal Virus Alert
January 7, 2011
This is the time of year when several viruses that can make people sick are present in the community. The Thames Valley District School Board and local health units would like to remind parents, guardians and students about ways to reduce the spread of these viral illnesses. These illnesses include influenza and other viruses that cause vomiting and diarrhea, such as norovirus.
In schools, viruses can spread easily so it is important to take steps to prevent infection. These include:
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Get vaccinated against influenza – it is not too late to get your flu shot.
- Clean hands frequently using soap and water or a hand sanitizer. Hands should be cleaned after using the washroom, after shaking hands and before preparing and eating food.
- Avoid touching your face as viruses can enter the body through the eyes, nose or mouth.
- If you have diarrhea or vomiting, don't prepare food for others for at least 48 hours after the last episode.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces often.
If your child has symptoms including, fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, muscle aches or fatigue, please keep them home from school. Children need to stay home until they are well and able to take part in normal activities. If your child has a fever, it should be gone for at least 24 hours before they return to school. If your child has vomiting or diarrhea, these symptoms should be gone for at least 48 hours before returning to school.
Generally, if a student feels ill at school, he or she is taken to the office and the parent/guardian is called to pick up the child as quickly as they can. If possible, the child will wait for pick up in a supervised area away from other children.
The Thames Valley District School Board and our local health units hope that these precautions will help lower the risk of your children and other family members becoming sick. This will help ensure a safe and healthy 2011.
Manager of Public Affairs & Community Relations
Thames Valley District School Board
Flu Virus: Tips to stay Healthy
Cleaning your hands is the best defence against many viruses.
Proper hand cleaning is an important way to guard against influenza and other viruses; it also helps limit the spread of these germs. For example, the influenza virus can live on your hands for up to five minutes, and it can survive for up to two days on hard surfaces that you touch with your hands – like countertops and telephones. So clean your hands often to protect yourself and others from getting sick.
Soap and water work well. Wash your hands thoroughly for about 15 seconds. Try humming a favourite tune and keep washing until the song is over to make sure you wash your hands long enough.
When soap and water are not available, hand sanitizers are good to clean your hands, unless they are visibly dirty. Make sure you really rub the sanitizer all over your hands.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
Keep your hands away from your face. The flu virus usually enters the body through the eyes, nose or mouth.