• Symptoms and Emergency Warning Signs

    As educators it is important that we all learn the signs and symptoms of flu, emergency warning signs, and high risk groups. The symptoms of flu can include:

    • Fever (although not everyone with flu has a fever)
    • Cough
    • Sore throat
    • Runny or stuffy nose
    • Body aches
    • Headache
    • Chills
    • TirednessSometimes diarrhea and vomiting

    Emergency warning signs that indicate a person should get medical care right away include:

    In children:

    • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
    • Bluish skin color
    • Not drinking enough fluids
    • Not waking up or not interacting
    • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
    • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough
    • Fever with rash

    In addition to the signs above, get medical help right away for any infant who has any of these signs:

    • Being unable to eat
    • Has trouble breathing
    • Has no tears when crying
    • Has significantly fewer wet diapers than normal

    In adults:

    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
    • Sudden dizziness
    • Confusion
    • Severe or persistent vomiting
    • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough

    See The Flu: What to Do If You Get Sick.

    It is also important that we know what to do if you, or someone in your classroom or family becomes ill:

    • Those who get flu-like symptoms at school should go home and stay home until at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medicine. Those who have emergency warning signs should get immediate medical care.
    • Those who get flu-like symptoms and are at high risk of severe flu illness should ask a healthcare professional if they should be examined. See People at
    • High Risk of Developing Flu–Related Complications.
    • Separate sick students and staff from others until they can be picked up to go home. When feasible, identify a “sick room” through which others do not regularly pass. The sick room should be separated from areas used by well students for routine health activities, such as picking up medications. Sick room staff should be limited in number and should not be at high risk for severe illness if they get sick.
    • Encourage students, parents, and staff to take antiviral drugs if their health care professional prescribes them. 
    • Antiviral drugs are prescription drugs that can treat the flu. These drugs can reduce the number of days that a person is sick and also may prevent serious flu complications, but not everyone needs to be treated.
    • Antiviral drugs work best when started within the first 2 days of illness, but they also may help reduce the risk of severe illness even if started 2 or more days after onset of illness for persons who are very sick.
    • Although most people will recover from flu without treatment, antiviral drugs are recommended for people with flu who require treatment in the hospital; have a progressive, severe, or complicated illness; or are at high risk of severe flu because of an underlying medical condition or their age.