“We’re seeing flu in adults that we usually don’t see this early,” said Debbie Aloshen, manager of CMSD’s Nursing Services. “It’s bad. It’s never hit this bad this early.”
Nursing Services will administer the flu shots in the schools, Aloshen said. For a child to receive a shot (or flu mist), parents are required to sign a consent form, which principals sent late last year.
No schedule of where and when CMSD’s nurses will be immunizing students has been completed. Each school will first need at least 30 consent forms, which principals sent to parents late last year, returned before Aloshen can assign a team of nurses to administer shots or flu mist.
Schools with the most “fragile” students, however, will be targeted first, she said.
The goal is to immunize as many students as possible, because students are first-line spreaders of the virus to infants and older people — populations that are at a higher risk of serious illness like bronchitis or pneumonia from the flu.
Flu symptoms, which last three to four days, include fever, headache, general aches, fatigue, weakness, extreme exhaustion, chest discomfort and coughing.
Aloshen recommended four measures students and adults should take if they contract the virus:
· Stay home
· Drink plenty of fluids
· Get lots of rest
· For a fever, take acetaminophen or ibuprofen
Students and adults with symptoms that linger for more than a week should consult their family doctor, she said.
Parents who need a consent form should contact the principal at their children’s school. But Aloshen said principals will send out a second wave of the forms over the next few weeks.