NOTES FROM THE NURSE
Susan Romatzick, RN, BSN
FLU SEASON IS HERE
Influenza (the "flu")
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that generally strikes between October and April. It is caused by influenza virus. The disease is spread from the mouth and nose of infected persons in respiratory droplets and occasionally by touching something with the virus on it and then touching your own mouth or nose. Unlike the common cold, the flu usually causes a high fever of 102 to 104 degrees F, headache, extreme fatigue, dry cough, sore throat runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The exhaustion may last for weeks, while a cold rarely hangs on that long.
An annual " flu shot" can help you to avoid the flu. The flu vaccine needs to be given each fall because it does not offer permanent immunity. There is also a nasal-spray flu vaccine (LAIV) that can be administered to healthy people between the ages of 5 and 49 years old.
However, because of the flu vaccine shortages this season, you can also help to avoid the flu by practicing good health habits.
*Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
*Stay at home when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
*Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with a tissue to prevent spreading germs.
*Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose germs can spread when you touch something that
has been contaminated with the virus on it
*Wash your hands! Handwashing will help protect you from germs.
I hope these tips will keep you happy and healthy during the flu season. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call me at 385-4194.
HUSKY Medical Insurance
The HUSKY Plan is Connecticut's free or low-cost health insurance program for children and youth up to age 19. The plan is designed to provide health coverage to all uninsured children. HUSKY is open to children in working families of every income level. Don't assume your child is not eligible, call for information.
Children receive a comprehensive health care benefits package, including the following: preventive care, outpatient physician visits, school physical exams, prescription medicines, inpatient hospital and physician services, outpatient surgical facility services, mental health and substance abuse services, short-term rehabilitation and physical therapy, skilled nursing facility, home health care, hospice care, diagnostic x-ray and laboratory services, emergency care, durable medical equipment, eye care and hearing exams, dental care, and more depending on which part HUSKY will serve your child. Parent, relative caregivers, and pregnant woman may also be eligible for HUSKY, depending on income.
HUSKY is a managed care program similar to health insurance benefits for children of state government and private-sector workers. Parents choose an affiliated managed care organization (health plan) to coordinate the benefits package. They have the freedom to choose a health plan and participating doctors and hospitals, and must renew the coverage annually.
HUSKY has three parts: HUSKY A, services under the traditional Medicaid program, HUSKY B, services for children from high-income families; and HUSKY Plus, special coverage for children with intensive physical or behavioral health care needs.
Depending of family income, HUSKY services may be free or low-coat. Even families with the highest-level incomes can receive most HUSKY services for children at a group rate.
The Connecticut Department of Social Services administers HUSKY. The Department of Education and school food service administrators work with DSS to support its outreach services, including HUSKY information with the free- and reduced-price school lunch application and providing copies of a bilingual "back-to school" brochure with the application.
For more information and application, please call Susan Romatzick, School Nurse, or you may call HUSKY directly at 1-822-CT-HUSKY
(1-877-284-8759) toll free.
They also have a website: www.huskyhealth.com and E-mail: [email protected]