Head Start Health Services Newsletter: Preventing and Managing the Flu



Seasonal influenza (flu) is now active in the United States. The flu virus may cause serious illness that may result in hospitalization or death. The flu mostly affects the respiratory system (ears, nose, throat and lungs), but may also affect the whole body. The flu season usually starts in the fall and ends in the spring, although each year is different. People can get the flu more than once per year and many times in their lives. Influenza viruses are un- predictable, so it’s wise to do everything possible to protect yourself, fellow Head Start staff, and chil- dren in your program!

Healthy people can get very sick and sometimes die from influenza. It also is important to remember that the flu may make some people more sick than others. These people include children younger than 2 years of age, adults 65 and older, pregnant wom- en, and people with chronic medical conditions, such as: asthma, diabetes mellitus, hemodynami- cally significant cardiac disease, immunosuppres- sion, or neurologic and neurodevelopmental disor- ders. This is why vaccination remains the most im- portant step in protecting all of us against influenza and its complications. The flu vaccine is safe, does not cause the flu, and helps prevent spreading the flu from person to person.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

Available at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/health/docs/health-services-newsletter-201412.pdf

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