Flu closure good choice

Published 10:12 pm Friday, February 8, 2019

Influenza has taken a rather late grip on Suffolk, as Nansemond-Suffolk Academy closed on Friday — in the second week of February — to halt the spread of flu in its school community.

The school stated on its website that the closure would give its students and staff more time to recover from their illness and give custodians more time to thoroughly disinfect its buildings. The closure may have also prevented others from getting sick.

The closure was a good move that has become more common in recent years as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other bodies study what are known as community nonpharmaceutical interventions.

Email newsletter signup

Two of the most widely researched of this type of intervention are social distancing — creating ways to increase the distance between people in settings where they come in close contact — and temporary closures and cancellations of schools, child care centers, places of worship, sporting events, conferences and other locations and events where people gather.

While flu vaccinations are the best way to prevent getting influenza, these types of interventions are effective at stopping pandemics of a new flu virus, the CDC says. NSA was wise to close on Friday and follow this advice.

Individually, there are things we can all do to prevent getting influenza.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise three steps to fight flu. The first is to get a flu shot, and the CDC recommends getting vaccinated before the end of October. That’s something to remember for the future.

During flu season, the CDC recommends the following actions:

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible.
  • If you have flu symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.