Masked high school teacher addressing students in classroom

How to Stay Safe Returning to School: Avoiding Flu, COVID-19, and More

With students heading back to school this fall, staying safe is on everyone’s mind given the COVID-19 challenges and concerns. This fall also starts another season of flu, strep throat, mono, pneumonia, and other common illnesses that further add to the health challenges we must face. The following health tips for going back to school may help set your mind at ease.

Going Back to School Safety Tips for Common Upper Respiratory Illnesses


COVID-19 is far from the only concern when it comes to school safety. Flu cases begin to rise around October, typically peak in December or February, and wind down until the end of May. Symptoms include fever, headache, cough, sore throat, fatigue, runny nose, and gastrointestinal distress. Some flu patients will also develop complications, such as bacterial pneumonia or ear infections.

You can spread the flu to others one day before you begin noticing symptoms and up to seven days after symptoms appear. Compared to adults over 65, children under 18 are more than twice as likely to develop symptoms and spread the flu. Children are also more likely to remain contagious for longer periods of time.

Health tips for going back to school include practicing good hygiene and avoiding those with flu or cold symptoms. Getting a yearly flu vaccination is another excellent way to ensure your health and safety. If you suspect you might have the flu, visit an MD Now clinic for diagnosis and treatment.


Mononucleosis is most common among teenagers and young adults. Symptoms include fatigue, sore throat, fever, body aches, headache, rashes, and swollen lymph nodes, liver, or spleen.

There is no vaccine to prevent mono, however, you can avoid transmission by steering clear of anyone with symptoms. Should you contract mono, Doctors recommend getting plenty of rest and drinking lots of fluids. Some patients can experience fatigue for weeks after infection. If you suspect you might have mono, visit an MD Now clinic for diagnosis and treatment.  

Strep Throat

Strep throat is common in children and somewhat uncommon in adults, but still possible to contract. It’s caused by a bacteria called Group A Streptococcus. It can enter the body through exposure to an infected person or surface. Back to school safety tips should always include proper hygiene practices, which can help reduce the spread of strep.

Symptoms include sore throat, fever, swollen tonsils, white patches or pus in the throat, and swollen lymph nodes. Younger patients may also experience headaches, stomach pain, and nausea or vomiting.

Doctors diagnose strep throat using a swab test. Antibiotics can treat the infection. If you suspect you might have strep throat, visit an MD Now clinic for diagnosis and treatment.  


Pneumonia is a type of infection that causes inflammation and fluid retention in the lungs. It occurs when any number of viruses, bacteria, or fungi enter and take hold of the lungs. Viral pneumonia is generally less severe. However, researchers are learning that pneumonia triggered by COVID-19 can be quite serious.

Symptoms include chest pain, cough, chills, difficulty breathing, and fever. Older patients may also experience confusion and low body temperature.

Pneumonia is most serious in infants, young children, and older adults. People with weakened immune systems are also more susceptible to developing the condition.

Doctors use a variety of tests, including blood tests, X-rays, and sputum tests, to diagnose pneumonia. They treat the condition using antibiotics and other medications. Vaccines are also available for some types of pneumonia. Avoiding cigarette smoke and keeping your immune system healthy will reduce your odds. If you suspect you might have pneumonia, visit an MD Now clinic for diagnosis and treatment.

Back to School Safety Covid-19 Tips: The Delta Variant

We now know many of the variants are more contagious than the original. If you’re wondering how to stay safe returning to school, you’re not alone. As more information comes in, scientists will expand upon school safety COVID-19 regulations.

Originating in India, this highly contagious Delta variant has been spreading in the United States since June. Nearly 80 percent of all positive cases at UC Davis Health have been confirmed as the delta variant since July 22.

Symptoms of the variant mimic those of the original. The other variants mentioned here are likely similar as well, but researchers are still waiting on more data to come in.

Medical professionals at UC Davis Health noted that most hospitalized patients are not vaccinated. Most vaccinated individuals either have mild symptoms or are completely asymptomatic.

How to Stay Safe Returning to School: Help from MD Now

Together, we can return to school safely with COVID-19 protection. Along with getting vaccinated, consider mask wearing, social distancing, and staying home at the first sign of illness.

It’s important to get tested immediately after developing symptoms, especially if you aren’t vaccinated. Rather than mistake COVID-19 for another condition, walk into at any MD Now clinic location for a COVID-19 PCR test and receive results in 48 hours or less.* We are available to help with all your back-to-school safety covid needs.

MD Now offers PCR testing and quantitative antibody testing at all 110+ of our Florida locations. No appointment is necessary, so walk in today!