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Influenza

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What is Influenza?

Influenza (the "flu") is a serious respiratory illness. Flu symptoms can last a week or longer.
Influenza is a vaccine preventable disease. Annual immunization is required to protect against seasonal influenza. Everyone over the age of 6 months should get their flu vaccine every year.

Influenza is a reportable illness under The Health Protection & Promotion Act. Record the illness in the child’s record and the Public Health Illness Surveillance Form.

Symptoms

  • Sudden onset fever
  • Chills or shakes (sometimes not present in those less than five years of age or 65 years and older)
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Sore muscles and joints
  • Fatigue
  • Sometimes diarrhea and vomiting (in children)

Managing influenza: What to do


Infected persons should:
  • Stay home until fever is diminished for 24 hours and are feeling better.
  • Get lots of rest and drink fluids.
  • Treat fever with acetominophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprophen (Advil®, Motrin®). Avoid the use of aspirin or aspirin-containing products for children.
  • Cough in to a tissue or sleeve. Discard used tissues immediately.
  • Wash hands frequently using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Don't share anything that goes in the mouth, like utensils, drinking glasses or tootbrushes.

Instructions for child care staff:

  • When holding small children who are sick, place the child's chin on your shoulder to avoid the cough.
  • Provide extra cleaning in frequently touched areas such as table tops, keyboards, door knobs, counter tops, remote controls, telephones, light switches, etc.). Dishwashing and laundry can be done as normal.
  • Download a "Stay at Home Poster"  and a "Stop the Spread Poster" to display in your child care centre.

 

 


Quick Reference

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Influenza cases must be reported to Public Health. Record illness in the child’s record and the Public Health Illness Surveillance Form.

Special procedures may be required in a flu pandemic: See the pandemic section under Emergencies.