This year, the yearly flu season has been unusually prolonged and deadly season, with its severity only exceeded by the one in 2009. In the United States, a total of 29 deaths due to influenza have already been reported. Although more prominent in the mid-west regions, the disease exacted noticeable tolls on MCPS. Unfortunately, for many unlucky MCPS students, flu season collided with exam week. “It was awful” said Alice Li, a sophomore at Wootton high school. I noticed during my exam week many absences, some due to the flu, and others due to the common cold or other strains of January sickness.
Don’t let the flu season ruin your day! Follow these MCPS tips to prevent the flu.
1. Get vaccinated!
•Vaccination is the BEST protection, various community organizations do provide free vaccination services
•Get the seasonal flu vaccine – everyone should be vaccinated
2. Practice good hygiene
•Wash hands frequently with soap and water
•Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
•Cover your mouth and nose with tissue when you cough or sneeze
•Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve if you don’t have a tissue
•Put used tissues into a waste basket right away
•Clean your hands after coughing or sneezing. Use soap and water or hand sanitizer.
3. If you or a family member gets the flu…
•Stay home from work or school if you have flu-like symptoms (fever of 100 degrees or greater with a cough or sore throat)
•Children should be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to school
•Follow your doctor’s instructions
•Avoid close contact with others, especially anyone who is sick
•Get plenty of rest
•Drink clear fluids
•Avoid using alcohol or tobacco
•Cover coughs and sneezes
•Clean hands with soap and water or sanitizer
To learn more, visit the MCPS website http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/emergency/flu/index.aspx/
Article by Shannon Jin, SAC press correspondent