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Shuswap schools see uptick in absences due to illness

Interior Health offers guidance on when students should be kept home
School District 83 has seen a recent uptick in staff and student absences due to illness. (Victoria_Watercolor/Pixabay photo)

Parents may be questioning whether their kids are well enough to go to school.

School District 83 Superintendent Donna Kriger said principals have reported an uptick in the number of students and staff who are away from school due to illness.

Interior Health advises keeping kids at home if they have or exhibit the following:

• a fever – keep them home for 24 hours after the fever has gone away without the

help of medication;

• vomiting or diarrhea – keep them home for 24 hours after the last episode;

• a severe sore throat;

• a rash with no known cause;

• a severe cough especially with other symptoms like a runny nose and headache;

• redness, swelling or discharge of the eyes, ears or skin, unless treated;

• feeling unwell with little energy to join in school activities.

The health authority couldn’t offer any information specific to Salmon Arm, but said it is beginning to see an increase in cases of influenza and other respiratory viruses like RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), and encouraged people to receive an influenza vaccination, and to make sure they are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccination.

“As we continue through the fall and winter, we can expect to see more respiratory illness,” said IH. “This is an annual occurrence, but there are measures we all can take to prevent illness and manage symptoms while at home. The most important measures are to get vaccinated, staying home when sick and follow general hygiene measures like hand washing.”

According to the Centre for Disease control, “most healthy children will fight respiratory infections with rest and good hydration without needing to go to a hospital or see a doctor. Treatment including antibiotics are not needed for most respiratory infections and children will usually recover on their own at home within a few days.”

More information on respiratory illness can be found here.

This story has been corrected regarding the source of information on when to keep kids home.

Read more: Okanagan Skaha schools sees surge of absences for both students and staff

Read more: There’s still time to get your influenza vaccine
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