For Immediate Release
October 6, 2016; 11:55am
DPHSS Release No. 2016-079
Influenza (Flu) on Guam
Over the last few weeks there has been a steady increase in cases of influenza or flu on the island of Guam and many cases of flu have been seen within the school system. One of the primary places that flu spreads in the community is in the school setting. For this reason it is very important that parents, teachers, school administrators and health professionals all cooperate to keep children and adults with flu or flu-like symptoms at home until they are no longer able to pass the virus at school or work.
Flu symptoms include: cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, fever or feeling feverish/chills, headaches, body aches, and fatigue (very tired). Individuals with these symptoms should not return to school or work until their illness is over.
DPHSS also encourages all residents to protect themselves and their loved ones during the flu season by following these Flu Prevention Tips:
1. Get vaccinated.
• A yearly flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months and older.
• Vaccination is especially important for protecting those at high risk for serious flu-related complications, including: young children, pregnant women, adults 65 years and older, and anyone with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.
2. Stop the spread.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
• Wash your hands often.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
3. Take medicine.
• Use medication as recommended by your doctor to treat the flu.
All health care providers are urged to review and update the immunization status of all patients they see. If vaccination is contraindicated because of illness, a follow-up appointment should be scheduled to update vaccination as soon as the illness is over.
REMEMBER that the power to stop the flu starts with you! For more information, please speak with your primary health care provider, visit www.cdc.gov/flu, or call the Department of Public Health and Social Services’ Immunization Program at 735-7143.