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Educators Know The Difference Between Cold, Flu and CO-VID 19

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Educators Know The Difference Between Cold, Flu and CO-VID 19 Image by Виктория Бородинова from Pixabay

As the winter approaches, while working in a service, Educators and children will be prone to colds and flu this season and with the coronavirus epidemic still, around, symptoms can be similar.

Colds, Flu and the Coronavirus are spread via person to person contact so it's important to maintain hygiene practices at the service to ensure to stop the spread of any virus and to keep a healthy environment.

Cold

A cold can cause any or all of these symptoms:

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Cough (mild)
  • Fatigue (sometimes)
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches (rarely)
  • Aches and pains

A typical cold will last on average 7 to 10 days.

Flu

Some common symptoms of the flu:

  • Fever and/or chills
  • Cough (usually dry)
  • Fatigue
  • Aches and pains
  • Runny or stuffy nose (sometimes)
  • Sore throat (sometimes)
  • Diarrhea (sometimes in children)

It’s a common respiratory infection caused by a virus that affects your nose, throat, and lungs and can last from 5 to 7 days.

Coronavirus

Symptoms of COVID-19 can include:

  • Fever and/or chills
  • Cough (usually dry)
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Tiredness (sometimes)
  • Aches and pains (sometimes)
  • Headaches (sometimes)
  • Sore throat (sometimes)

Upper respiratory symptoms, like runny nose and sinus congestion, are very uncommon in COVID-19.

Differences Of Symptoms 

Prevention

Flu

The best way to prevent flu is to get the flu vaccination. In some cases, those who continue to get the flu even though they have been vaccinated will usually get milder symptoms of the flu.

Coronavirus

There is currently no vaccine available for the Coronavirus. best prevention methods include:

  • Washing hands regularly
  • Avoiding touching the face
  • Keeping at least 6 ft away from anyone sneezing and coughing
  • Covering the mouth when sneezing or coughing
  • Staying at home if feeling unwell

If your service has a sick child, you must:

  • ensure that unwell children do not attend your service, as per national guidelines (Staying healthy: preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services, 5th edition)
  • isolate children who became unwell during the day from other children and send the unwell child home as soon as possible
  • exclude the unwell child
  • notify the department immediately if a child is suspected of having one of the six infectious diseases listed above; please call the department even if you believe a doctor has already done so
  • defer any action, such as alerting parents, excluding unwell children or displaying signage, until directed to do so by the department.

It's important that no sick educators or children should be made to stay at the service. They should be excluded until they are well again.

For more information on exclusion periods: Exclusion Periods For Infectious Diseases In Early Childhood Services

For more information on Educators Guide To Staying Healthy During Winter

Note: This information is to be used as a general guideline only. Please ensure that if you are feeling unwell that you seek medical advice immediately.

References: 
What's The Difference Between A Cold, The Flu, Seasonal Allergies and Coronavirus?, Intermountain Health Care, 10 April 2020 
New coronavirus vs. flu, Medical News Today, 19 May 2020

Last modified on Wednesday, May 27, 2020
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