Influenza-Like Illness

                                                                               INFLUENZA-LIKE ILLNESS


Dear Parent or Guardian:

In cooperation with the Fairfax County Health Department, we are sending this health information letter to inform you that several cases of influenza-like illness have been reported in our school. Children with influenza-like illness have cough and congestion, and may have fever, chills, sore throat, headache, body aches, and feeling tired (fatigue). Illness may be caused by the influenza virus or by other types of viruses.

The Health Department recommends that you and your family members take the following steps to protect yourselves and others from influenza and other respiratory illnesses:

    • Vaccinate your child and yourself against influenza this year and every year. As long as influenza is circulating in our community it is not too late to get a vaccine.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Teach your children to wash their hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds. Be sure to set a good example by doing this yourself. If soap and water are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizers may be used.
    • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw tissues in the trash after use. If tissues are not available, cover coughs and sneezes with your upper sleeve
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.
    • Try to avoid close contact with individuals who have influenza-like symptoms.
    • Monitor your child for signs of influenza-like illness.
    • Do not send any child experiencing influenza-like symptoms to school. If your child comes to school with the symptoms described above, he or she may be sent home. Keep your child home and away from others until the child has been symptom free and without fever for at least 24 hours without the use of medication (i.e. he or she should not attend school, school functions, sporting or extracurricular activities, or leave the home except to seek medical care).
    • Consult with your child’s health care provider regarding possible use of medication that treats influenza if your child has a chronic medical condition, an illness that weakens their immunity, or who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy.

We encourage you to put this information into practice to help your child stay healthy and to prevent others from getting sick. If you have questions regarding this information, please contact your health care provider or the School Public Health Nurse, Julie Rahimi at 703-388-1383.


Lisa Reddel