H1N1 Virus (flu) - When to keep your child home from school

What are the symptoms of H1N1 virus (swine flu)?
The most important symptoms are fever with cough or sore throat. Other symptoms include headache, tiredness, runny nose, body aches, diarrhea, and vomiting.

When should I keep my child home from school? Click here to view the Flu Symptoms Checklist written by the Sno. Co. Health District
Answer these questions:

  1. Does your child have fever 100o Fahrenheit or greater?
  2. Does your child have a sore throat or cough?

If you answered “yes” to both these question, keep your child home from school for seven days or until your child is completely well for 24 hours, whichever is longer. Your child might have the flu! If you answered “yes” to only one of the questions above or if your child appears ill with other symptoms, keep your child at home until completely well for 24 hours.

Should I take my child to see a health care provider?
Use the same judgment you would use during a normal flu season. If you would not usually see a health care provider for the symptoms your child has now, you do not need to see a health care provider. Call your health care provider if your child is ill enough that you would normally see a health care provider.

How do I protect my children from getting the flu?
Make sure that your children:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water. Always wash after coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not nearby, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with their elbow or a tissue. Throw dirty tissues away and have children wash their hands.
  • Not touch eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs can spread this way.
  • Stay away from people who are sick.

What is H1N1 virus (swine flu)?
H1N1 virus, also known as “swine flu” and “swine Influenza A” is a virus that spreads from infected people to others through coughs and sneezes. Like the regular flu, almost everyone who gets this new virus gets better. But sometimes people get very sick.

Why are health and school officials concerned about H1N1 virus (swine flu)?
This is an outbreak of new virus. Currently, the illnesses do not seem more severe than the typical seasonal flu, but early on in the outbreak it is important to try and prevent the spread as much as possible in case the illness becomes more severe. Even typical flu infections can be severe and should be prevented whenever possible.

How can we limit the spread of H1N1 virus (swine flu)?
The most important thing is to keep sick people away from healthy people. So if your child is sick, you must keep your child home. Staying home when sick stops the spread of the flu and helps the sick person get well.

Where can I get more information?

  • Call your child’s school or school district for updates on school closures.
  • Snohomish County call center, Mon – Fri 9am – 4pm, 425-388-5060
  • Snohomish Health District web site, www.snohd.org