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What’s the Latest with the Flu? A Message for Caregivers & Teachers

2014-2015 Influenza Season

As the 2014-2015 flu season begins, it is important to be sure that your Head Start or early education and child care program is prepared.

It's time for everyone to get their flu vaccine! The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that all people aged 6 months and older, especially those with chronic medical conditions, receive the flu vaccine. It takes about two weeks after vaccination to develop antibodies for protection against the flu. Everyone needs a flu vaccine each year, even when the virus strains in the vaccine do not change from the previous year, because immunity wears off over time.

The flu is unpredictable. Anyone, even healthy children and adults, can get very sick, need to be hospitalized, and even die from influenza. That is why vaccination remains the most important step in being protected against influenza and its complications. The flu vaccine is safe, does not cause the flu, and helps to limit people's chance of getting the flu and spreading it to others. It is key that all caregivers and staff be vaccinated against the flu.

Do not forget that influenza vaccination also is recommended in any trimester for all pregnant women or those women who plan to become pregnant during the influenza season. Besides protecting themselves, pregnant women pass their protection from the flu onto their newborns.

Influenza Prevention Education Resources:

In addition to getting vaccinated, it's a good time to plan influenza prevention education for staff. Encourage caregivers to:

  • Review the fact sheet
  • View the archived webinar – View the 90-minute AAP webinar: "Improving Head Start/Child Care and Community Readiness and Response to Seasonal Influenza."
  • Complete online training - Take the free AAP/CDC online course: "Influenza Prevention & Control: Strategies for Early Education & Child Care Providers."
  • Display educational materials - Free resources for Head Start or other early education and child care facilities on proper hand hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette.

Seasonal Influenza & Enterovirus-D68:

Seasonal influenza and enterovirus-D68 can cause some similar symptoms. To ensure the health of all children in child care and school settings, the AAP recommends caregivers and teachers continue the current procedures already in place to manage infectious diseases (e.g. immunizations, infection control, and proper exclusion practices). The AAP has also developed information for parents and child care programs and schools on EV-D68.

Additional Resources:

 

Published
11/7/2014 12:00 AM