Flu widespread in Virginia; germs shared as kids head back to school
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - As your kids head back to school after winter break and you head back to work, it's time to take actions to protect your family.
"Flu season is definitely underway. Flu season is keeping us quite busy in the hospital," said Dr. Michael Burbridge, a pediatric hospitalist with Bon Secours.
A chart from the Virginia Department of Health shows the jump in activity in the past few weeks:
This time of year can be especially bad after many people traveled all over the country to visit family - sharing airplanes and new spaces - and as a result, sharing germs.
"Kids will be exposed to a bunch of other kids so they'll be touching things and getting close to other kids that could have infections," said Burbridge.
Make sure you and your children are washing hands, using hand sanitizer and avoiding putting fingers near your nose.
If your child has a fever keep them home at least 24-48 hours after that fever stops. Also, pay close attention to the child's symptoms.
"If they've having difficulty breathing, if their child is starting to get dehydrated, because they're not drinking well or eating well, then they may need to go to the emergency room," said Burbridge.
And yes, the flu shot is still effective.
The flu isn't the only thing going around. Burbridge says he's also seeing RSV and nasty G-I viruses.
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