While last flu season was mild, Onondaga County is currently experiencing a spike in flu cases this season. Coupled with the continued COVID-19 pandemic, receiving your flu vaccination is now more important than ever.
The Onondaga County Health Department anticipates the number of recorded cases to continue into December and January.
The Liverpool Central School District Health Office would like to share some important information that can help you and your child prepare for the flu.
Guidelines to decrease the chances of getting influenza:
- Vaccination if available: The single best way to protect yourself and your children from the flu is to get a flu shot. Please contact your health care provider or pharmacist to check availability or to schedule an appointment for a vaccination. The Onondaga County Health Department also offers the flu vaccine for Onondaga County residents 6 months of age and older when available. Please call 315-435-2000 for availability of the vaccine at the county’s immunization clinic. Appointments are required.
- Hand washing: Continue to help your children understand how important it is to wash hands to decrease the risk of getting sick.
Guidelines to decrease the spread of influenza in the community:
- Stay home when sick: People experiencing flu-like illness should stay home and be assessed by their health care provider.
- Cover your cough and sneeze: This is a great time to remind children how to cover their nose and mouth if they cough or sneeze so that they are not spreading germs.
- Ill students and staff: Students and staff who appear to have flu-like symptoms will be sent home.
- Routine cleaning: School staff will routinely clean areas that students and staff both touch often with cleaners they typically use.
- Early treatment of high-risk students and staff: People who are at high risk for influenza complications and who become ill with influenza-like illness should speak with their health care providers as soon as possible. People at risk include those who are pregnant, have asthma or diabetes, have compromised immune systems, or have neuromuscular diseases.
Planning tips for parents to prepare:
- Develop a plan if your child becomes sick and needs to stay home
- Make sure that the school has all the current contact and emergency contact information necessary for your child
- Consider contacting your health care provider to schedule your children’s regular flu shots as soon as possible.
If you do not have health insurance for your children and are interested in learning more about public health insurance, call NY State of Health at 1-855-355-5777 or visit its Web site online for more information. There are some eligibility rules. Child Health Plus is New York’s comprehensive health care program for families who are income eligible.