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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Pioneer Pride: Preventing the spread of flu

  • One would be hard pressed to turn on the news right now without hearing a story about the continued spread of influenza. Flu activity in Kansas is currently classified as widespread. It is important to take preventative measures to help prevent the further spread of the flu throughout the community.
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  • One would be hard pressed to turn on the news right now without hearing a story about the continued spread of influenza. Flu activity in Kansas is currently classified as widespread. It is important to take preventative measures to help prevent the further spread of the flu throughout the community.
    "The typical peak for cases of influenza-like illness in Kansas occurs in February, and the rates we are observing now are higher and earlier than what we usually see," said Dr. Robert Moser, Kansas State Health Officer.
    Frequent hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of the flu. To wash your hands properly and effectively use soap and warm, running water. Rub your hands together vigorously for 20 seconds, and be sure to get all surfaces, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between fingers, tips of fingers, and under the fingernails.
    In Leavenworth Public Schools, the school district's custodial staff is performing an aggressive disinfectant and cleaning effort each evening of high contact areas, such as desktops, counter tops, restrooms, drinking fountains, and door knobs. The disinfectant product utilized is designed specifically for the influenza virus.
    Another way to combat the flu is to get a yearly flu vaccine. The vaccine protects against three flu strains, and can make flu illnesses caused by other strains milder than for those that are not vaccinated. Health officials say it is not too late to be vaccinated for this flu season. Contact your health care provider or the local health department to find out about availability of the vaccine for anyone in your household over the age of six months.
    Even the best preventative measures can't always stop the flu from hitting a household or classroom, so it is important to know its symptoms and remember what to do if you or your child should become sick with the flu. Symptoms of influenza include fever, dry cough, extreme tiredness, headache, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle aches. Stomach symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can occur but are more common in children.
    If you become ill, it is key to contact your health care provider. They can administer helpful antiviral medications that can make the illness milder, make you feel better faster, and may also prevent serious flu complications. Those sick with the flu should reduce contact with others and cover their mouths when coughing to prevent the spread of germs.
    To avoid the spread of illness in the Leavenworth Public Schools, parents are asked not to send their children to school if they are experiencing severe coughing, sore throat, a temperature of 100 degrees or greater, vomiting, or diarrhea. Students should be free of fever, vomiting, or diarrhea for 24 hours without medication before returning to school.
    Page 2 of 2 - Submitted by the Leaavenworth School District.

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