Help your school keep flu at bay

The Department of Health, concerned with the rise and severity of influenza infections this year has provided the following information.

Influenza, though mild in most people, can be a serious illness and this year the influenza season has struck earlier and more intensely than usual.

Symptoms of the disease include fever, cough, sore throat, headache, chills, muscle aches, and runny nose.

Influenza is spread easily from person to person through infected droplets in the air and on the hands.

In children it is highly infectious so parents are urged to keep students at home if they are showing symptoms of cold or flu-like illness. They should remain at home until acute symptoms have resolved.

Parents and teachers can also help prevent the spread of influenza by observing practices of good flu etiquette and encouraging these in students.

These practices include:

  • covering their mouths when coughing or sneezing
  • blowing their noses into tissues, and disposing of these properly in a rubbish bin
  • washing their hands thoroughly after coughing, sneezing or blowing their nose.

Vaccination is the safest and most effective way that people can minimise their risk of getting the flu and passing it on to family, friends and colleagues.

Influenza vaccination is recommended for anyone over the age of six months and strongly recommended for those at increased risk of severe illness and complications, including pregnant women, people over 65 years of age, Aboriginal Western Australians over 15 years of age, and persons with a chronic medical condition that predisposes them to severe influenza.