Flu, COVID & Scarlet Fever - Info for Parents/Carers
Back-to-school advice issued amid high levels of Flu, COVID and Scarlet Fever circulating in Yorkshire - January 2023
As pupils and students return to school following the Christmas break this week, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is reminding people that winter illnesses continue to circulate at high levels, but following simple steps can help protect children, minimise the spread of illness in education and childcare settings and protect wider communities.
Flu and COVID-19 are currently circulating at high levels and are likely to continue to increase in coming weeks. High numbers of scarlet fever, which is caused by Group A streptococcus, also continue to be reported.
Prof Susan Hopkins, Chief medical Adviser at UKHSA, said: It’s important to minimise the spread of infection in schools and other education and childcare settings as much as possible. If your child is unwell and has a fever, they should stay home from school or nursery until they feel better and the fever has resolved.
Helping children to learn about the importance of good hand hygiene is also key, so practice regular handwashing at home with soap and warm water. Catching coughs and sneezes in tissues then binning them is another simple way to help stop illness from spreading.
Remember that flu vaccination is still available for all eligible groups and is the best protection against the virus. We have seen good uptake in older age groups but vaccination among young children remains low. Flu can be very unpleasant and in some cases can lead to more serious illness. Getting your child vaccinated protects them and others they come into contact with, and it’s still not too late.
Dr Mike Gent, UKHSA Yorkshire and Humber Deputy Director, said: As we see more cases of flu across Yorkshire and Humber, we can all play a part reducing infections spreading by following simple measures. It is so important to remember that catching flu or other infections can be far more serious for more vulnerable people.
Taking sensible measures to stop bugs spreading is something we all can and should do: Good hygiene, taking up vaccinations when offered and not mixing with vulnerable people when you are poorly yourself.”
Children eligible include:
- Children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2022
- All primary school-aged children
- Some secondary school-aged children
- If your child test positive for COVID please report the result to school as soon as possible.
- Keep your child at home for 3 days after the date of the test.
- Ensure good ventilation in the areas they are in.
- Ensure the child observes good hand hygiene and ensure enhances cleaning, particularly of touch points / equipment the child has contact with for the 3 days after the test date.
Pupils with respiratory symptoms
- If a child is unwell and has a high temperature - they should NOT attend school until they no longer have a high temperature and they are well enough to attend.
- Children and young people with mild symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat, or slight cough, who are otherwise well, can continue to attend their education setting.
- All children and young people and staff with respiratory symptoms should be encouraged to cover their mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when coughing and / or sneezing and to wash their hands after using or disposing of tissues