Flu/RSV Information for Parents
With winter and the holidays approaching, we are well into the Flu and Respiratory Syncytical Virus, (RSV) season. RSV has been in the news recently as cases continue to rise across the state and nation. RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually infects children under 5 years of age and can cause mild, cold-like symptoms that may include cough, sore throat, headache, and fatigue. These symptoms can last for 1 to 2 weeks.
Flu usually has a sudden onset and will almost always include a fever. Other common flu symptoms include body aches, cough, sore throat, headache, and feeling tired. Treatment for the flu is most effective if started in the first 24 to 48 hours. Encourage your student to rest and stay hydrated. Your doctor may recommend a prescription antiviral and/or a fever-reducing medicine to help with the aches, pains, and chills that often come with the flu. Flu does not usually have stomach symptoms.
When calling in your student’s absence to the school, please be specific and tell us if you think your child has the flu, RSV, or you suspect something else and if they have been diagnosed by a doctor. You must keep your child home from school until they are 24 hours fever free without the use of fever-reducing medications such as Advil, Tylenol, Motrin, or any other similar medication. Aspirin should never be given to children.
NPS continues to prioritize sanitization and has frequent cleaning rotations within all schools. Cleaning focuses particular attention to high-traffic areas, doorknobs, bathrooms, and water fountains. Handwashing continues to be the most effective way to prevent common transmission of illness and hand sanitizer is widely available throughout all schools. Take-home COVID-19 tests are also available for parent pickup (contact your school health professional to request tests).
All NPS students seen in the school health room will be checked for signs and symptoms of fever and illness. In accordance with the NPS Illness Protocol and procedures, school health staff will ensure reasonable separation of students with signs and symptoms of fever or illness from the general student population until a parent or guardian can come and pick the student up.
Please refer to the NPS Student Health website to find additional resources from the Oklahoma State Department of Health, CDC, and American Academy of Pediatrics. If you have questions or concerns please contact your school health staff.
It’s never too late to get a flu shot. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) highly recommends everyone 6 months of age or older get a flu shot. The flu shot works to protect you from getting the flu and may lessen the severity of the symptoms and the length of the illness if you do get the flu. Frequent and thorough hand washing is one of the most effective ways to prevent illness.
Meningitis Immunization Information for Parents
Meningococcal disease, commonly known as meningitis, is a potentially fatal bacterial infection that can strike teenagers and college students. The disease can come on quickly and may cause death or permanent disability within hours of the first symptoms. Meningitis is very rare, but may be prevented through vaccination.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends routine meningococcal disease immunization at the preadolescent doctor’s visit (11 to 12 years old). For those teenagers who have not been previously vaccinated, immunization is recommended for high school students and for all incoming college freshmen.
Teenagers and college students have an increased rate of meningococcal infection compared to the general population, accounting for nearly 30 percent of all U.S. cases annually. Of those who survive, up to 20 percent suffer long-term disabilities, including brain damage, loss of hearing, organ failure and limb amputations.
Meningococcal disease can be misdiagnosed as something less serious, because early symptoms are similar to those of influenza or other common viral illnesses, including high fever, headache, nausea, and stiff neck. That is why immunization is so important. A conjugate meningococcal vaccine is now available which public health officials anticipate will provide longer protection against four of the five strains of bacteria that cause meningococcal disease. Although teenagers and college students are at increased risk for contracting the disease, up to 83 percent of cases in that population may be prevented through immunization.
The Meningitis Vaccine is safe; however, there are risks with any vaccine. About half of the people who get the vaccine will have pain and redness where the shot was given, but because the vaccine is not made from the whole bacteria, it cannot cause bloodstream infections or meningitis. A small percentage of people who get the vaccine develop a fever. Vaccines, like all medicines, carry a risk of an allergic reaction, but this risk is very small.
Contact your healthcare provider or the Cleveland County Health Department. The health department has the vaccine available at no charge for all students who: have no health insurance; are Medicaid eligible; are Native American; or whose health insurance does not pay for vaccines.
This vaccine is not required to attend public school in Oklahoma but may be required by colleges and universities. For more information contact your healthcare provider or the Cleveland County Health Department or visit the CDC Web site at www.cdc.gov.
Resources - Infectious Diseases
- CDC: Bacterial Meningitis
- CDC: Viral Meningitis
- OSDH: Meningitis
- Enteroviruses (Oklahoma State Health Dept.)
- Enterovirus D68 Espanol Infographic (de los CDC)
- The Flu: A Guide For Parents - CDC 2019
- La Influenza Usted (de los CDC)
- CDC: Strep Throat
- Dolor de garganta (de los CDC)
- MRSA (Spanish Version)