Health As we begin the school year, we would like to share some information regarding the H1N1 Virus (swine flu). While symptoms of the flu vary, substantial numbers of cases are predicted. Prevention is key; all members of the school community should protect themselves from the spread of flu by doing the following: 1. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. 2. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. 3. Throw used tissues in a wastebasket. 4. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve if you don’t have a tissue. 5. Clean your hands after coughing or sneezing. 6. Stay at home when you are sick. 7. Your child should be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to school. 8. Get a flu shot (more information at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm) Difference between Cold and Swine Flu Symptoms Symptom Cold Swine Flu Fever Fever is rare with a cold. Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the flu. Coughing A hacking, productive (mucus- producing) cough is often present with a cold. A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough). Aches Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold. Severe aches and pains are common with the flu. Stuffy Nose Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week. Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the flu. Chills Chills are uncommon with a cold. 60% of people who have the flu experience chills. Tiredness Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold. Tiredness is moderate to severe with the flu. Sneezing Sneezing is commonly present with a cold. Sneezing is not common with the flu. Sudden Symptom s Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days. The flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains. Headache A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold. A headache is very common with the flu, present in 80% of flu cases. Sore Throat Sore throat is commonly present with a cold. Sore throat is not commonly present with the flu. Chest Discomfort Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold. Chest discomfort is often severe with the flu. Recognize Swine Flu Symptoms! Defend Yourself High Risk Groups Children below 5 years Senior persons above 65 years HIV infected persons Diabetic patients Pregnant Women Lung & Heart patients Obese persons Warning signs for children Troubled or abnormal breathing Bluish skin color Lessened intake of water/fluids Extended sleep or lack of interaction Irritable Fever with rash Flu-like symptoms recede, but return with fever and worsened cough Warning signs for adults Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath Pain/pressure in chest/abdomen Sudden dizziness Confusion Severe or persistent vomiting Seasonal flu vaccines or past immunizations DO NOT provide protection against the H1N1 virus. Please visit a qualified physician if you suspect Swi ne Flu symptoms. Avoid self-treatment Persons infected with the H1N1 virus may be able to pass it on 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 7 days after infection Check out the Oakland Unified School District website for more information.