Germ Illustration


Influenza is a viral illness which is highly contagious and affects the respiratory tract (nose, throat, lungs). Influenza most commonly occurs in the fall and winter months. It may cause more serious illness in the young and elderly.

The symptoms of influenza include:

  • fever (usually high, and may last 3-4 days)
  • runny nose
  • sore throat
  • cough
  • headache
  • muscle aches and pains
  • extreme fatigue which may last several days
  • diarrhea and vomiting (in children)

Influenza is spread through contact with nasal and throat secretions from an infected person, for example through coughing/sneezing, OR through contact with contaminated surfaces such as hands or tissues. Children can be contagious for up to 5 days from the onset of symptoms, and should be excluded from attending child care until they are well enough to participate in usual activities (usually 5-7 days).

The spread of Influenza can be prevented by:

  • washing hands frequently;
  • cleaning with the appropriate cleaners and disinfectants;
  • covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing;
  • asking all staff and children with influenza like illnesses to stay home
  • getting a flu shot ~ this is the best protection against influenza.

Report any increases in the usual number of children or staff who are exhibiting or are absent with similar symptoms of influenza like illness to Huron Perth Public Health at 1.888.221.2133.

Last modified: February 19, 2020