With school systems and daycares closing due to flu, health officials offer tips to parents

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. — Before school systems closed down for the winter weather threat, many in Marshall County were closed at the start of the week because of hundreds of flu-related absences. Health officials say there are some tips for parents to remember and act on to keep the flu at bay.

“Usually, a high fever, a headache, nausea, chills, body aches. Those are the usual symptoms,” said Marshall County Health Department Clinic Supervisor Sara Shelton.

When you or your kids experience any of those symptoms, you’re advised to stay home.

“You really need to avoid touching your eyes, your nose, your mouth, anything like that with your hands because there are so many germs on your hands,” Shelton added. “Hand washing is the number one thing that you can do. Soap and water, if you don’t have soap and water, use hand sanitizer.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state flu viruses are thought to spread from person to person through droplets created when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk. The flu virus can live on some surfaces for up to two days.

“Make sure you wash their backpacks and their coats, and things they bring home from school,” Shelton said “That’s very important. Especially with all of the schools closing right now that’s a good time to do all that.”

So when can you send your kid back to school or daycare? The CDC says a sick person should be fever free for 24 hours without a fever reducer before heading back out for normal activities.

Also, to prevent the illness from spreading in the home, the CDC says a caregiver should wash their hands after touching a sick person and handling tissues or laundry.

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