Cold and Flu Season is Here
Tips for staying healthy this winter – By Health Services Director Andrea DeLong, BSN, RN
Cold and flu season is upon us and we are seeing an increase in absences related to respiratory illness. Walla Walla County Department of Community Health has reported that Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Rhinovirus, and flu activity is on the rise here in Walla Walla. Below you will find general information about RSV and recommendations on how to stay healthy this season.
RSV is a common respiratory illness that can affect persons of any age, and generally occur between November and April. Almost all children are infected with the virus by their second birthday, and reinfection is common throughout life. RSV is spread through the air or by touching a surface an infected person has sneezed or coughed on. Symptoms are similar to a mild cold with low-grade fever, watery eyes, runny nose, nasal stuffiness, and sneezing. In rare cases, especially in infants, older adults, and those who are immunocompromised severe illness may occur. Be sure to consult your child’s medical provider if you see worsening symptoms or have any concerns.
Please consider the following recommendations to keep you, your family and our community healthy during this season.
• Stay home when sick.
• Wash hands frequently and thoroughly.
• Cover coughs and sneezes with tissue or arm.
• When using a tissue, wash hands well afterwards and dispose of dirty tissues after each use.
• Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces (doorknobs, refrigerator handle, water faucets, cupboard handles) daily.
As a reminder, students should not return to school until fever has been gone for 24 hours and they feel well enough to participate in normal activities.
For more information on RSV please visit www.cdc.gov/rsv
Andrea DeLong, BSN, RN - Director of Health Services