It’s not too late to get immunized against influenza. Albertans can get a free flu shot at Alberta Health Services’ public immunization clinics, as well as at some pharmacies and doctors’ offices. For more information visit www.albertahealthservices.ca or call Health Link Alberta at 780 408-LINK (5465) *as of January 7, 2015
The Edmonton Zone currently* has the highest number of confirmed Influenza A and B cases in Alberta! Out of almost 3,600 confirmed cases in the province, over 1,000 of those are in Edmonton. The Edmonton Catholic School District is encouraging all families to take preventative steps. Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness, caused by the influenza virus. Symptoms of influenza can be similar to the flu and include fever, cough, chills, headache, muscle pain, and a sore throat. We encourage all parents and guardians to keep your child at home if he/she has flu symptoms. This will avoid spreading the flu to other students. Most people who have influenza should get better within a week.
Hand Washing Prevents Illness
Alberta Health Services advises everyone to make a habit of washing your hands often. Edmonton Catholic Schools will work with students to ensure they are taught the proper technique. This is especially important after you have been in contact with someone who has a cold or influenza. Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth, since the virus can enter your body this way. Wash your hands with soap and water, or use a hand sanitizer.
How to wash your hands
1. Use liquid soap or a bar of soap. Wet your hands with warm, running water. Rub on soap. Lather well.
2. Rub your hands together for at least 15 seconds.
3. Scrub all over, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers, and under your fingernails.
4. Rinse under running water.
5. Dry your hands.
Cover your Cough
Another focus will be preventing the spread of viruses through coughing. Students will be reminded to cough or sneeze into their upper sleeve, or cover their mouth with a tissue. The influenza virus spreads from person to person by droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. The virus, contained in droplets, can travel 1-2 metres in the air. It can live on hard surfaces for 1-2 days; on cloth, tissue and paper for 8-12 hours; and on hands for five minutes. People develop symptoms of influenza 1-3 days after becoming infected.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of influenza include:
• Lack of appetite
• Muscle aches
What to do if your child is feeling sick.
We would ask parents and guardians to monitor your child’s health. If your child demonstrates any flu-like symptoms, we would encourage you to keep your child home from school. They should stay home for at least seven days from the start of their symptoms. If the symptoms last longer than seven days, they should stay home for 24 hours after their symptoms are gone.