Donate now.

Raising a child with autism can be quite isolating and depressing. The monthly support and discussion group has helped me to find friends who understand what I am going through... Just knowing that there are others going through similar situations can help me to relax, laugh a little and continue persevering for my son.Karen
Mother of Alex
Our School Nurse on this Year's Flu

Submitted by Dan Uttendorfer R.N. Spectrum Services School Nurse

This years’ influenza season has begun in earnest. So far, it has been more widespread than usual and is projected to be the worst outbreak in 15 years. As usual, people with weakened immune systems (adults over 65, people with chronic illnesses, pregnant women, and children under 5- especially children under 2) are the hardest hit.

The flu attacks the respiratory system (nose, throat and lungs). It is very important to get treatment within 48 hours of the onset of symptom. Taking prescribed antiviral medication can decrease the length of the illness and lessen the severity of the symptoms.

The symptoms of influenza are:

  • Body and muscle aches
  • Fever, chills, sweats, headache
  • Dry, persistent cough with sore throat
  • Fatigue, weakness
  • Nasal congestion

The flu is transmitted when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. Droplets can be breathed in or remain on objects and get picked up and transferred to the eyes, nose or mouth, infecting someone else.

Controlling the spread of influenza is very important. Frequent handwashing is the most effective measure. Disinfecting items that are touched by others (door knobs, tables, phones, etc.) is also important. If you or a family member develops symptoms, avoid contact with others. Contain coughs and sneezes with tissues or into the inner crook of your elbow. If possible, avoid going into crowds.

The request that people with influenza symptoms remain home until completely recovered (24 hour fever-free) cannot be overstated.

Let’s hope for a quick end of the flu season and a healthy 2018!