We want to provide you with updated information on the H1N1 novel influenza, which includes fact sheets, state reporting requirements, and a checklist that you can use if your child is ill.
Help in tracking the flu bug, and illness checklist
Schools and parents of school children are being asked to help with tracking the new flu bug in Minnesota. You should keep kids home from school if they are sick with flu-like symptoms: fever and a sore throat, cough, body aches, or runny nose. When calling the school to report that your child will not be in school, tell them your child has flu-like symptoms. Schools are being asked to report to the state health department the number of children gone and the number of children sick with flu-like symptoms each day. Your child's name will not be shared with anyone outside of their school. You can download a PDF of the checklist below.
Information about the virus
Right now, the H1N1virus is widespread in Minnesota and still seems to be acting like seasonal influenza in terms of how sick it makes people and how it is spread. Most people who have had novel H1N1 flu in Minnesota have gotten better without complications. However, like any flu virus, novel H1N1 can be a serious disease. Some people have been hospitalized with novel H1N1, and several deaths have occurred from it. Most people who had novel H1N1 in Minnesota have been school-aged children. People at high risk for complications from influenza (including seasonal and novel H1N1 influenza) are those with underlying medical conditions (such as heart, lung or kidney disease, asthma, diabetes, or a suppressed immune system), pregnant women, children under 5 years of (especially those under age 2 ) or people over age 65.
Tips for staying healthy, minimizing the spread of disease
There are active key roles that you can play in helping to stay healthy, and minimize the spread of the disease. It is important that we work together to control the spread of illness in our communities. Recommendations for public health protection include:
- If ill, stay home from school or work.
- Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water.
- Cover your nose and mouth with your sleeve when you cough or sneeze.
- Limit your contact with others who may be ill.
Monitoring and symptoms
We are asking parents, caregivers, and school staff members to be vigilant in identifying students with influenza-like illness, including a fever of 100 degrees or higher, and a runny nose or nasal congestion, sore throat, or cough.
Insolation and assistance
If your child is sick with influenza-like symptoms, keep them at home. Do not let them attend extracurricular activities, community activities, or child care. If you think your child needs medical care, and you need help with a referral, please do not hesitate to contact your school nurse. Let us know what you need, and we will try to help.
The first priority is ensuring that an ill child is isolated at home. We will continue to emphasize the messages about hygiene, and continue to clean our schools and facilities. This could change depending on the situation and with guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.
For additional information, we have posted a link to the Minnesota Department of Health.
Please know that our top priority is the health of our students, their families, and staff. We will continue to provide you with information.