2016-2017 Influenza Season
Flu activity has decreased since March, but overall remains elevated in the United States. The flu season is expected to continue for several more weeks. As of April 18, 2017, there have been 72 flu-related deaths in children reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Influenza vaccine is still recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older, including all child care staff. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the CDC recommend continued influenza vaccination as long as flu viruses are circulating, often into the Spring. The single best way to protect against the spread of the influenza virus and to reduce the risk of becoming sick from it is to get vaccinated. Vaccination of every person in a child care setting is a valuable step towards decreasing influenza infections and in protecting the health of children and staff.
Results of Survey from March 2017
Included in the March 2017 "What's the Latest with the Flu" message was a quick confidential survey. A highlight of the results is included below (156 people responded):
Ready Wrigley Preparedness for Flu Season
The AAP worked with the CDC to develop a new Ready Wrigley Activity Book on influenza. This book includes tips, activities, and stories to help families prepare for flu season. The Ready Wrigley Activity Book series is designed for children 2 through 8 years of age. This series is created in a printer-friendly format. Currently, there are no print copies available for order. The Ready Wrigley Activity Book series is produced by the CDC Children's Preparedness Unit and CDC health communication specialists. The AAP would like to thank the CDC Office of Infectious Diseases for its assistance with the development of this book.
Free Online Training Course: Influenza Prevention and Control in Early Education and Child Care
The AAP updated its free online course, "Influenza Prevention and Control - Strategies for Early Education and Childcare 2016-2017." The course educates staff who work in Head Start and other early education and child care programs about influenza policies and strategies that help keep children healthy. Upon completion of the course, learners will be able to recognize the symptoms of influenza, explain how influenza is spread, discuss the importance of annual seasonal influenza immunization with parents and peers, and much more. This course is approved for 1.0 contact hour.
Managing Infectious Diseases in Child Care and Schools: A Quick Reference Guide (4th Edition)
This recently updated AAP manual provides child care center directors, teachers, and caregivers with important information about the prevention and management of infectious diseases in group care settings. The manual contains helpful guides, including quick reference sheets on prevention of infectious diseases. Detailed chapters address infection control measures, immunizations, and inclusion/exclusion criteria.
Additional Information from HealthyChildren.org: