Flu Precautions Urged As School Year Ends

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner David Lakey, M.D., today urged students and their parents to continue to take precautions to reduce the risk of spreading H1N1 flu despite the end of the school year.

“The virus continues to circulate,” Lakey said. “We need to continue to take those personal steps to keep from getting or spreading H1N1 flu.”

Lakey said everyone should:

* Stay home if you have influenza-like symptoms or other symptoms of respiratory illness.

* Cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow or into a tissue and properly dispose of the tissue.

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* Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth to reduce the risk that germs on your fingers enter your body.

Symptoms of H1N1 flu usually include high fever with a cough, sore throat or both. Some with H1N1 flu also have reported extreme tiredness, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Lakey also said staff in child-care centers, which will be taking in additional children during the summer, should make sure children follow precautions to reduce the risk of spreading the flu.

“We're dealing with a newly discovered form of the flu virus. There is little or no natural immunity among the population, and at this point we have no H1N1 vaccine to protect us,” he said. “That makes following the personal precautions extremely important.”

DSHS is reporting 1,404 H1N1 flu cases in people from 65 of the 254 Texas counties.

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Teachers and Parents: I heard about a great new program called Germy Wormy Germ Smart that teaches kids to understand how germs spread and how to NOT spread germs. Since my child learned it at daycare, we don't play the "pass the germs" game anymore! It was so much fun, and it was amazing how quickly they learned healthier hygiene habits!