Seasonal Flu Information for Schools & Childcare Providers
Educators and staff can help slow the spread of colds and flu.
- Each day, about 55 million students and 7 million staff attend the more than 130,000 public and private schools in the United States. (CDC, 2012).
- Some viruses and bacteria can live from 20 minutes up to 2 hours or more on surfaces like cafeteria tables, doorknobs, and desks. (Ansari, 1988; Scott and Bloomfield, 1989)
- Nearly 22 million school days are lost annually due to the common cold alone. (CDC, 1996)
School Network for Absenteeism Prevention
Cover Your Cough Campaign
Guidance for School Administrators to Help Reduce the Spread of Seasonal Influenza in K-12 Schools
|Addressing the spread of germs in schools is essential to the health of our youth, our schools, and our nation. Students need to get plenty of sleep and physical activity, drink water, and eat good food to help them stay healthy in the winter and all year. |
Always remind children to:
- Cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when they cough or sneeze - have them throw the tissue away after they use it.
- Wash their hands often with soap and water, especially after they cough or sneeze. If water is not near, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
- Remind them to not touch their eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs often spread this way.
How long is a person with flu virus contagious?
The period when an infected person is contagious depends on the age and health of the person. Studies show that most healthy adults may be able to infect others from 1 day prior to becoming sick and for 5 days after they first develop symptoms. Some young children people with weakened immune systems may be contagious for longer than a week.
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