Happy Friday from the Health Office!
According to the Massachusetts Department of Health:
- Influenza severity for Massachusetts has increased from low to moderate this week.
- The percentage of influenza-like illness (ILI) visits for Massachusetts is higher than the previous two years in the same week.
- Overall influenza-like illness activity for Massachusetts has increased from moderate to high this week. The West region is reporting moderate ILI activity while all other regions are reporting high ILI activity.
- The percent of influenza-associated hospitalizations in Massachusetts is lower than the previous two years in the same week.
- In the 2019-2020 flu season, more influenza B than influenza A positive specimens have been reported by hospitals and outpatient facilities in Massachusetts.
- Nationally, influenza illness activity is increasing and influenza B is most common.
- Additional statewide and national data including geographic spread, ILI activity, and pneumonia and influenza mortality are available at CDC’s FluView Weekly Report and FluView Interactive.
*Flu activity is increasing. It’s not too late to get vaccinated. Flu vaccination is always the best way to prevent flu and its potentially serious complications.
When to Keep Your Student Home From School
Knowing when you should keep your child home can be a real challenge as a parent. Are they really sick or are they avoidant? Will they get worse during the day? Will going to school make them feel better?
When your child must stay home:
- If they have had a fever of 100.4 or more in the last 24 hours without fever reducing medication (take temperature between doses to accurately know whether your child has a fever which may become masked by the medicine).
- If they were diagnosed with Strep throat and have not been on antibiotic treatment for 24 hours.
- If they have vomited or had multiple episodes of diarrhea in the past 24 hours.
Most healthy kids should miss very little school due to illness. The only time we really don’t want your child to come to school is when they are likely to infect others and cause a cascade of absences. Illness is a part of life and we all learn to go to school and work and function; maybe not to the same level we would on our best days, but we manage. This is part of building resilience to other hardships in life.
In the morning, when your child reports that they don’t feel well but does not have a fever, hasn’t vomited or been diagnosed with any contagious illness; you have a decision process. You know your child best: if they seem ill, not eating when they usually love breakfast, quiet when they are usually boisterous and listless when they are energetic it would be OK to consider an absence.
It could also be that your child has not completed an assignment, had a fight with a friend, or is anxious about a presentation and absence would not be a good strategy. In these types of unclear days it is really helpful to send a quick email to the advisor and copy the nurse and say that your child is coming to school and that you are unsure what is going on: early illness vs. coping struggle. This lets us know what is going on with your child and we can offer input and help the student make a good choice during the day; whether it is to go home sick, quietly work on a missing piece of homework, or arrange some mediation work with friends.
There are so many scenarios but the best way we can all help your child is to communicate. Please feel free to email with questions.
Wish List for the Health Office:
TISSUES (we need lots!)
- Healthy Snacks (granola bars, peanut butter crackers, cereal bars)
Cover those coughs and sneezes
and don't forget your flu vaccine!
Be well - Smile often - Stay healthy!
Warm Regards, Nurse Lisa
Liza Zick, BSN, RN
Office Hours: 8:15 AM - 3:45 PM
(Weds until 2:15 PM)
Phone: 978-772-3293 x135