Published Thursday 23 Aug 2018

In the last week Regional Public Health has been notified of influenza outbreaks in a number of schools and early child education centres (ECCs) in the greater Wellington region.

The symptoms of influenza are fever, cough and sometimes vomiting or diarrhoea in younger children. Influenza spreads quickly in schools and ECCs and 20-30% absenteeism is not uncommon.

To prevent the spread of influenza:

  1. If your child is sick, keep them at home until they are well and free of symptoms (usually 3-4 days but up to 7 days).
  2. Let your school or ECC know if your child has an illness with symptoms described above.
  3. Make sure your child covers their mouth and nose with tissues when coughing and sneezing.
  4. Make sure your child washes their hands regularly.
  5. If someone in your family has influenza, please don’t visit hospitals or community care homes or see people who may be at high risk of serious illness (such as pregnant women, young babies, or anyone who has cancer, lung, and heart or kidney conditions).

Influenza brochureThis influenza brochure has some good tips for looking after people with influenza and stopping it spreading to other people at home.

If you are worried about your child’s symptoms or they have long-term health problems (e.g. asthma, diabetes, kidney, heart or immunity problems), then you should phone their usual doctor or Healthline 0800 611 116 for further advice. Otherwise they should recover at home and see their GP only if the illness gets worse or is not improving.