Health Tips: Preventative Strategies for Cold & Flu Season

According to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), influenza activity continues to be geographically widespread in the state for the seventh consecutive week. Please read the information below to better understand how to protect yourself and your family from the influenza virus.  A child with Influenza may return to school 24 hours after the child’s last fever and when the child is well enough to learn. 

Influenza Q & A for Parents

What is Influenza (flu)?  The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses, which can be mild to severe, sometimes requiring hospitalization. Up to 20% of the population gets the flu.

What are the symptoms?  Symptoms of the flu may include high fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches, stomach symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

What are possible complications?  Some complications of the flu include pneumonia, dehydration, sinus or ear infections, and worsening of some conditions such as asthma and diabetes.

How does the flu spread? The flu is spread by respiratory droplets from coughing and sneezing, or touching surfaces contaminated with viruses and then touching the mouth or nose.  People are contagious beginning one day before getting symptoms and over a week after getting sick.

How can I help prevent the spread of the flu? Everyone should practice proper hand hygiene, cover all coughs into the crux of the arm so as to decrease contamination to the hands, clean environmental surfaces regularly.

How is a cold different from the flu?  Differences between a cold and the flu vary.  In general, the flu is worse than a cold and symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme tiredness and dry cough are more common and intense. Colds tend to develop slowly, more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose and usually do not develop into serious symptoms.


Who should get a flu vaccine? Flu vaccine should be given to all persons, including school-aged children.

Quick Tips for Staying Healthy: Prevention is Key!

  • Get your yearly Flu vaccine
  • Cover all coughs and sneezes either with the crux of your arm or with a tissue
  • Throw tissues out immediately after use
  • Wash your hands with soap & water frequently, sing the Happy Birthday song twice while washing
  • Use hand sanitizer when no soap is available
  • Keep hands away from your face including your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Get plenty of sleep every night, children require at least 10 hours per night
  • Increase your daily intake of fruits and vegetables
  • Stay physically active and physically fit


For more detailed information regarding influenza, please visit the NYSDOH website by using the following link: