Lingering flu and strep
Ongoing cases of flu and strep throat in Early County schools prompted a letter to parents last week urging them to “take precautions to keep our children healthy.”
The letter, from Alida Ward, Early County Health Department county nurse manager, noted respiratory infections spread more easily among children in schools and offered the following tips to help keep your family healthy:
• It is not too late this flu season to get your child vaccinated. Students and parents should get an annual flu shot.
• Keep children who are sick — with flu or strep throat — at home. Do not send them to school until they have been free of fever for 24 hours.
• Teach your child to practice good health habits – washing hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds and covering sneezes and coughs.
• Frequently disinfect touched surfaces, toys and shared articles.
• It is important to see a healthcare provider as soon as possible once symptoms appear. An antiviral medication may help shorten the length of the illness and the severity of the symptoms if started within the first 48 hours of flu onset.
• They may also prescribe an antiviral to family members to help prevent flu transmission if a household member is diagnosed with flu.
• Antibiotics are typically prescribed for strep throat. It is important to take the entire course of medication.
Common symptoms of flu include fever, headache, muscle and body aches, exhaustion, sore throat and dry cough. Children often have additional flu symptoms including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
IMPORTANT: Avoid giving children aspirin and products that contain aspirin. Aspirin has been linked to a life-threatening liver condition known as Reyes Syndrome.
Also, DO NOT use children’s over-thecounter multi-drug cold and flu medications. For more information contact the Early County Health Department at 723-3707 or visit www.southwestgeorgiapublichealth.org.