Information for families about influenza

Health officials in Lincoln have reported an increased number of flu cases in our community. Lincoln Public Schools is currently not seeing high rates of absenteeism in our schools.  But as a preventative measure, we are sharing some important information with you to help you and your family guard against illness during the flu season.

 Cold vs. Flu

A cold is a milder respiratory illness than the flu. While cold symptoms can make you feel bad for a few days, flu symptoms can make you feel quite ill for a few days to weeks.

Cold symptoms

  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • congestion
  • cough

Flu symptoms

  • sore throat
  • fever
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • soreness
  • congestion
  • cough 

Most flu symptoms gradually improve over three to five days, but it's not uncommon to feel run down for a week or more.  It is strongly recommended that staff and students with a fever over 100 degrees stay home until they are fever-free for at least a minimum of 24 hours without the aid of fever reducing medication. We recommend that students and staff also seek the advice of their medical provider in regards to use of antiviral medication and when to safely return to school.

At Lincoln Public Schools, we have an Infection Control Committee that continuously monitors and works diligently with all staff year-round to make sure we are prepared for flu season.  The Infection Control Committee includes community partners such as the County Health Department to monitor illness in the community and within the schools -- helping us guide our coordinated response. 

A weekly absence report is posted on the LPS website under the Parents tab. Our absences have remained similar to previous years. We are monitoring flu cases and request families work with their medical providers to guide school attendance. At a minimum, we request that students remain out of school for 24 hours once fever-free without the aid of fever reducing medication. 

School nurses have posted information around school buildings reminding students to cover their cough and wash hands to prevent the spread of infection.  School nurses often go into classrooms and provide instruction on healthy habits, especially to early childhood and elementary classrooms. This would be a great opportunity to reinforce these important healthy habits at home.  Thank you for partnering with us in keeping our students healthy and ready to learn.    

Published: January 24, 2018, Updated: January 24, 2018