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Flu, COVID-19, RSV update 12.1.22

rRev. 12.01.22

 As you may be aware, there has been an unseasonably early spike of respiratory viruses circulating nationwide. This communication will provide you with important information on common respiratory viruses including Influenza (Flu), Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and COVID-19 to help you make the best health decisions for your family. 

The Flu virus usually presents with the following symptoms; a sudden fever, chills, headache, fatigue, sore throat, dry cough and/or a nasal congestion. While symptoms are similar to a common cold, children with the flu usually have a higher fever and more severe symptoms. If your child experiences flu symptoms, it is advised that you consult their pediatrician. Testing is recommended as antiviral therapies are effective and readily available.

RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms such as fever, congestion, cough and sneezing.  Symptoms may be more severe in young children and the elderly. With RSV, children can become sick very quickly. If you notice a rapid increase in the severity of symptoms and/or changes in breathing, call your child’s pediatrician immediately or go directly to the emergency room. Routine testing is often not recommended, as symptoms are generally mild and effective antiviral therapy is not readily available in the community setting. 

While COVID-19 cases in our community remain low, we anticipate an increase in positive cases with the approaching winter months. Covid symptoms include sudden loss of taste or smell, cough, headache, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, and sore throat.  Routine home testing is important so infected individuals can isolate and persons at high risk of complications can have access to effective antiviral therapy.

 In order to promote the health and safety of our school community, we continue to employ the following preventative measures against the spread of respiratory illness: 

  • Disinfecting practices including the routine cleaning of ‘high touch point’ surfaces at school and home, including phones, keyboards, doorknobs and common areas/items

  • Hygiene strategies including the practice of covering mouth and nose with a tissue, sneezing into a sleeve and performing frequent handwashing

  • Recommendations include consulting your health care providers regarding influenza vaccine and COVID-19 boosters and keeping your child home if they are sick, returning when they are fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication and feel well enough to return.

Please report all positive cases of Flu, RSV and/or COVID to your school nurse. Follow this LINK to learn more about respiratory illness including signs/symptoms, treatment options and case rates in Connecticut. Always seek the advice of your health care provider when you are concerned about your child's health. 


Emily Merritt, FNP, MSN, RN
Director of Nursing Services
Darien Public Schools
203.655.3981 x2304