What can families, students, and personnel do to keep from getting sick and spreading flu?
Practice good hand hygiene. Students and staff members should wash their hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective in the absence of soap and water.
Practice respiratory etiquette. The main way that the flu spreads is from person to person in the droplets produced by coughs and sneezes, so it's important to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. In the absence of a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder instead of your hands.
Stay home if you are sick. Keeping sick students and staff at home means that they keep their viruses to themselves rather than sharing them with others.
School personnel and teachers should be good role models by not only teaching but practicing flu prevention.
How long should a sick student or staff member be kept home?
Students and staff with symptoms of flu should stay home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have fever or do not feel feverish, without using fever-reducing drugs. If the flu conditions become more severe, these recommendations may change.
Can the virus live on surfaces, such as computer keyboards?
Yes, flu viruses may be spread when a person touches droplets left by coughs and sneezes on hard surfaces (such as desks or door knobs) or objects (such as keyboards or pens) and then touches his or her mouth or nose. Schools should consider increasing the cleaning frequency of high contact areas.