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A Few Flu Facts

People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. However, new research reveals that people with the flu can shed the infectious virus into the air around them just by breathing.

The common belief is that flu is also spread from touching surfaces contaminated with the virus. Flu viruses can survive on hard surfaces for 24 hours. Infectious flu viruses can survive on tissues for only 15 minutes. Like cold viruses, infectious flu viruses survive for much shorter periods on the hands.

Cold and flu viruses are not airborne. You can't catch a cold just by being in the same room as someone who's sick. You generally have to come into direct contact with their oral or nasal secretions. Regular soap is fine for hygiene; antibacterial soap isn't necessary because colds are caused by viruses not bacteria.

The incubation period of influenza is usually two days after being exposed but can range from one to four days. Typical influenza disease is characterized by abrupt onset of fever, aching muscles, sore throat, and non- productive cough.

You can pass on the infection before you feel sick. You are contagious for several days after you get sick and you are contagious for about a week after taking anti-viral medication. Baloxavir marboxil or Xofluza is a new antiviral medication for treatment of influenza A and influenza B. FDA-approved in October 2018 and given as a single dose by mouth in people ages 12 and older, this is the first new flu drug in 20 years. The drug has been shown to cut the time you’re sick but you have to take it within 48 hours of your first symptoms. Xofluza belongs to a new class of antivirals, which inhibit an enzyme called polymerase acidic endonuclease. Do your research to see if this is best for you if needed.


Nurse's schedule

Parents, please be aware that due to a change in scheduling, the nurse will be at Gilchrist on Mondays and Wednesdays for 1/2 the day only.  We appreciate your patience when she is not available for your phone calls.  Please leave a message and she can get back to you as soon as she can.  

By Wren Morgan

Vision Screenings and Comprehensive Eye Exams Teresa Wright, School Nurse

Because 89% of learning is visual and because up to 25% of children have vision problems , early detection and treatment in children is important. 10% of children have a significant need for eyeglasses to clear blurred vision. 15% suffer from poor visual skills. Inadequate or poor vision may delay the development of important vision-related learning.

Your child’s eyes are constantly in use in the classroom and at play. Near and distance vision, binocular coordination, eye movement and focusing skills, peripheral awareness and eye/hand coordination are all critical and if lacking or absent, then your child will have to work harder.

Eye doctors recommend that a child should have their first eye exam at six months of age. The child will be examined for vision problem warning signs, eyes turning inward or outward, and other focusing problems. Some of these warning signs are most responsive to treatment if diagnosed by the age of 3. At age 5, children should be examined to determine their readiness of vision skills for school.

School vision screenings do not substitute for a comprehensive vision examination. Optometrists and ophthalmologists can provide glasses, needed medications, low vision rehabilitation and vision therapy services. They are trained to provide a thorough examination of your child’s eyes even if the child has yet to develop communication skills, cooperates poorly during the exam or is unable to pay attention to an eye chart.

Please provide your School Nurse a copy of the report of any comprehensive exams. These will be kept in your child’s confidential health folder.

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