PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Parents, put this on your to do list before you send your children back to school after the holiday break.
According to the Florida Department of Health of Palm Beach County, in recent weeks, influenza activity levels are higher than at this time during previous flu seasons.
“Increased influenza activity is expected for several more months,” said Alex Shaw, Director of Communications and Public Information.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, influenza, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses.
Symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, chills, feeling tired and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. Some people with the flu will not have a fever.
If your child is sick, the CDC recommends you keep your child home from school for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone.
A Florida doctor says washing your child’s backpack or even wiping it down with disinfecting wipes is something every parent should be doing to help prevent the spread of the flu virus.
According to the CDC influenza viruses can spread by touching something that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose.
Experts also recommend you get your child a personal hand sanitizer, but the CDC says the best way to prevent the flu is to get a yearly flu vaccine.