Influenza is a respiratory disease caused by influenza viruses. Influenza viruses cause an infection of the upper airway and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches and headaches.
The incubation period is usually 1-3 days.
Mode of Transmission
Flu viruses spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing. Influenza viruses are released into the air and can be inhaled by others. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.
Period of Communicability
A person can spread the flu 1 day before symptoms develop until 5 days after symptoms appear.
Exclusion of the student should be based on the on the condition of the child and if there is a school policy that warrants exclusion for symptoms of influenza. There is no state law that mandates school exclusion.
•The best protection is an annual flu vaccination before flu season starts. Each year the vaccine contains the types of flu virus predicted to cause illness in the coming year. Therefore, it is important to be vaccinated each year. The vaccine takes 14 days for the full protective effect to occur.
•Teach students and staff to cough or sneeze into one’s elbow or upper sleeve or use a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Immediately discard the used tissue in the wastebasket.
•Encourage frequent hand washing, particularly after coughing or sneezing. An alcohol-based hand cleaner will also work if water is not available.
•Encourage ill students and staff members not to attend school.
Indiana State Department of Health Quick Fact Link: