Cold and flu season is upon us and state health officials report that influenza (also known as the flu) activity levels have increased over the past several weeks, including here in San Diego County.
This year’s flu season has been complicated by the new coronavirus that originated in China. Although there have been reported cases in Los Angeles and Orange counties, there are still no reported cases in San Diego County. San Diego County public health experts continue to say the risk of local transmission is low.
While the risk of coronavirus is low, activity levels for the flu remain high. It’s important for parents to keep their child home from school if they are feeling sick, and employees should also stay home if they are sick. Flu symptoms can vary, but generally include a high fever, headache, chills, body aches, sore throat, and cough.
To help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including the coronavirus and flu, everyone can follow these important tips:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional.
- Get vaccinated every year
The San Diego County Office of Education is monitoring both flu activity and the coronavirus, working with health officials to gather current information and ensure that districts and schools are prepared to handle the flu and any other respiratory viruses that could occur. Information for schools is available on its nursing webpage.
The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) is monitoring the coronavirus, and has information on their website about the virus, how to protect against it, and how to report it. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health also has FAQs available in English, Spanish, and Chinese. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides updated information about the coronavirus as it becomes available.