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Influenza B & H1N1 Flu Tips

Source: Dr. Vinay Goyal is an MBBS,DRM,DNB (Intensivist and Thyroid
specialist) having clinical experience of over 20 years. He has worked in institutions like Hinduja Hospital, Bombay Hospital, Saifee Hospital, Tata Memorial etc.
The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible not coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.

While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):
1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).
2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face 
3. *Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt). *H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms.Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.
4. Similar to 3 above, *clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. *Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but *blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral
5. *Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (citrus fruits). *If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.
6.* Drink as much of warm liquids as you can. *Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

Flu Information:

Any employee, student, teacher, or staff suspected of having the flu or a fever over 100 degrees should not attend school.

Wash hands several times a day using soap and warm water for 15-20 seconds (this is generally around the time it takes to sing the ABCs or Happy Birthday). Always dry hands with paper towels or automatic hand dryers. In school, allow regular breaks for the students and teachers to wash hands, or use hand sanitizer. Young children should be instructed and assisted to ensure proper hand washing. Restrooms should be checked regularly to ensure that soap and paper towels are always available.

The flu can be spread from coughs or sneezes. Make sure tissues are available in all classrooms. Students and staff should cover their mouths when coughing and use tissue when sneezing or blowing their noses. Coughing or sneezing into your bent arm is suggested if tissues are not available at the time. Tissues should be thrown away immediately by the person using it, and proper hand washing should follow. Alcohol gels may be used to minimize disruption in the classroom.

Schools cooperate with the Health Department by reporting flu absences when they reach a locally determined number. Reporting outbreaks assists in disease surveillance and understanding the impact on the community.

Closure of individual schools in the event of an outbreak has not proven to be an effective way of stopping the flu, but that decision should be made by the appropriate school officials based on the other considerations.

Schools should be extra-vigilant that ill students be excluded from sports activities, choir or any activities that may involve close contact, since transmission of the flu may be easier in these situations. All students and staff should avoid sharing glasses, water bottles, drinks, spoons/forks, etc.

School buses, because of the enclosed space may allow for easy spread of the flu. They should follow the classroom protocols with tissues, covering coughs and sneezes, and hand gel. Commonly handled interior surfaces in both the school and buses need to be disinfected. 1:10 bleach solutions or disinfectants are appropriate.

Symptoms may include fever above 100 degrees that lasts for more than two days. Headache, muscle aches, cough, runny nose, weakness/tiredness.

Children should not be in school if they have a fever of 100 or greater and should not return to school until they have been without a fever for 24 hours.

The best treatment is rest, fluids and Tylenol for the fever. NEVER give children aspirin for a fever. There are antiviral medications which your doctor may prescribe for the flu if the person is seen within the first two days of the illness. As always if the fever persists, and doesn’t respond to the fluids, rest and Tylenol you need to consult your Physician.

Sterling Public Schools 250 Main Street Sterling, NE  68443

t: 402.866.4761 f: 402.866.4771

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