Back to school advice issued amid high levels of winter illnesses
On Monday (2 January), the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) reminded people that winter illnesses continue to circulate at high levels and that following simple steps can help protect children, minimise the spread of illness in education and childcare settings and protect wider communities.
The UKHSA reported that flu and COVID-19 are currently circulating at high levels and are likely to continue to increase in the coming weeks. High numbers of scarlet fever, which is caused by group A streptococcus, also continue to be reported.
The UKHSA also highlights the importance of minimising the spread of infection in schools and other education and childcare settings as much as possible. If a child is unwell and has a fever, they should stay home from school or nursery until they feel better and the fever has resolved.
It also recommends that adults should also try to stay home when unwell and if individuals do have to go out, they are encouraged to wear a face covering. Unwell individuals are advised not to visit healthcare settings or vulnerable people if possible.
Flu vaccination is still available for all eligible groups and is the best protection against the virus. There has been good uptake in older age groups but vaccination among young children remains low.
Eligible children include:
- those aged two and three on 31 August 2022
- all primary school-aged children
- some secondary school-aged children
More information about getting children vaccinated against flu can be found on NHS.UK.
Children’s flu vaccine: