According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, last school year’s influenza season was more severe for children and youth and also started earlier than most previous seasons. The report showed cases emerged in early October 2022 and peaked in late November and December. Rates of flu-related medical visits and hospitalizations were higher for children and adolescents ages 5-17 than any other season since 2016-17.

Among those hospitalized during the 2022-23 season, a lower percentage were vaccinated than in previous seasons. However, flu-related deaths remained low and consistent with past seasons.

In its guidance for educators, the CDC warns that “flu seasons are unpredictable” in their timing, severity and duration. The agency said schools should:
-Encourage students, parents and staff to get vaccinated, top the spread of germs by staying home when sick, and wash their hands.
-Establish relationships with local and state public health officials.
-Provide enough supplies like tissues, soap and water to maintain proper hygiene.
-The CDC also advises schools to routinely and correctly clean and disinfect.

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