So far this school year, the campuses have seen outbreaks of the strep throat, the stomach bug and now just as we go into final exam time and Christmas break our students are beginning to experience the flu. It is very important to try to protect our students from them being exposed, but when we ride buses together and sit in class together all day sometimes it is difficult to limit exposure. Custodians are cleaning diligently, but the likelihood that students will be exposed is great. How do we know when we have the flu? Listed below is information from the Texas Department of Health regarding signs and symptoms, treatment and prevention of the flu. Symptoms - Symptoms can include fever, dry cough, sore throat, headache, body aches, fatigue, and nasal congestion. Among children, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are common. Some infected persons are asymptomatic. Most people generally recover from illness in 1-2 weeks, but some people develop complications. The highest rates of influenza infection occur among children; however, the risks for serious health problems, hospitalizations, and deaths from influenza are higher among people 65 years of age or older, very young children, and people of any age who have medical conditions that place them at increased risk for complications from influenza.Treatment & Prevention - Most people who develop influenza illness will recover on their own with bed rest and do not need medication. Antiviral medications can shorten the duration and severity of illness if given within the first 48 hours of the illness. These medications are usually prescribed to persons who have a severe illness or to those who are at higher risk for developing serious illness or complications due to influenza.The best way to prevent influenza is to get an influenza vaccine each year as soon as the vaccine is available to the public. Other forms of prevention include hand washing and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers; covering your coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue or your arm or sleeve; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth; avoiding close contact with persons who are ill; staying home when you are ill; and taking antiviral medications if prescribed by your doctor. In certain situations (e.g., influenza outbreaks in settings like nursing homes) antiviral medications may be prescribed to high-risk individuals to prevent them from developing influenza illness after exposure to infected individuals.Please contact the campus if you know your child will be absent and get a doctor’s note each time you take your child in for care. The campus offices can get homework for your kiddos so when they do feel better, they will be able to keep up with their assignments. It is important to keep your kiddos home if they are sick so that we limit exposure to other students. Please contact the District Nurse, Maria Cisneroz if you have any questions about the flu. Parents, let us know how we can help you the first day of school all the way until the last day of school!! Please check the website at www.san-saba.net for school information and follow us on Facebook, too! If you have any question about this article or any other question about school happenings please contact me at 325/372-3771 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .