Cold and Flu Season
Cold and flu season is here! Pittsburgh Public Schools wants to ensure that every student, family and staff member is healthy throughout this season. Please read the information below as a guide to prevent your family from contracting or spreading the cold, flu, and other common illnesses.
If your child(ren) becomes ill, please seek immediate medical attention. If your child(ren) misses school due to the illness, please make sure they return with an excused note for their absences.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is Influenza (Flu)?
Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenz viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and in serious instances can lead to hospitalization or death.
Will new flu viruses circulate this season?
Flu viruses are constantly changing so it's not unusual for new flu viruses to appear each year. For more information about how flu viruses change, visit How the Flu Virus Can Change.
When will flu activity begin and when will it peak?
The timing of flu is very unpredictable and can vary from season to season. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the U.S. between December and February. However, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May.
What are its symptoms?
According to the CDC, symptoms of Flu include fever, runny or stuffy nose, cough, headaches, fatique and body and muscle aches. Some people may have vomitting and diarrhea, though more common in young children than adults.
Who is most at risk?
Anyone can get the flu. Some people are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. This includes people 65 years and older, people with certain chronic medical condictions, pregnant women, and young children.
What should I do to prepare for this flu season?
CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. While there are many different flu viruses, the seasonal flu vaccine is designed to protect against the main flu viruses that research suggests will cause the most illness during the upcoming flu season. People should begin getting vaccinated soon after flu vaccine becomes available, ideally by October, to ensure that as many people as possible are protected before flu season begins. In addition to getting vaccinated, you can take everyday preventive actions like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others.
What if my child has a flu-like illness?
If your child is sick with a flu-like illness, please keep him or her home from school. The CDC recommends that your sick child stay home for at least 24 hours after his or her fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. The fever should be gone without the use of a fever reducing medicine. Make sure your child gets plenty of rest and drinks enough fluids. Please contact your doctor early if you are worried about your child’s illness.
For more information about the cold and flu season, please visit the Center for Disease Control official website by clicking HERE.