An increased number of Cincinnati Public Schools’ students have tested positive recently for flu or strep, leading to heightened awareness of how to help prevent the spread of germs.
Symptoms of flu or strep include fever, cough, headache, not feeling well, and, occasionally, vomiting. School officials are taking precautions including emphasizing hand-washing and stocking classrooms with hand sanitizer and tissues; and requesting additional cleaning of touch points in the buildings and school buses.
According to the Cincinnati Health Department’s School Health Office, parents or guardians should keep children home from school if children have any of the following symptoms:
- A fever of 100° F or higher at any time within the last 24 hours. Children must be without fever for 24 hours without fever-reducing medicines before returning to school.
- A lasting cough or a cold with fever and body aches.
- Diagnosed with a contagious disease. Children may return to school after the recommended time frame of treatment has been completed. Ask your physician or health-care provider and school officials to determine when a child can return.
- Sick with vomiting within the last 24 hours. Children should be free of vomiting for 24 hours before returning to school.
Schools officials may send children home if it appears that they may have contagious illnesses. The parent/guardian may be asked to provide a doctor’s note indicating the symptoms have been evaluated before a child may return to school.
- If your child has a fever of 103 or higher, a physician or health-care provider should evaluate the child.
- If you take your child to the doctor, please let the doctor know that your child's school is experiencing an outbreak of strep and influenza-like (flu) illness.
- If your doctor collects laboratory specimens, please let the school know (doctor's name and practice), so the Health Department can determine what illness is affecting the school.
Parents or guardians with questions or concerns, or if a child does not seem to be getting better, should call the child’s doctor or the Health Department’s School Health Office, (513) 357-2808.
A cold without fever should not be a reason to stay home from school.
The best way to prevent the spread of germs is to practice good hand-washing and to properly cover coughs (cough into the elbow, not the hand), according to the Cincinnati Health Department.