Schools Brace For Flu

By: Gary Smollen Email
By: Gary Smollen Email

It's not an epidemic but the number of influenza cases in the metro have health care professionals concerned.

With students returning to school, the experts recommend taking precautions to keep the flu under control.

The fifth-graders in Mrs. Gaule's classroom at Rumsey Station Elementary School seem to have gotten right back into the swing of learning, but teachers and administrators have more on their minds. Individual water bottles help prevent the spread of germs, but especially when fighting the flu, parents play a big part.

"If students have a temperature greater than 100 degrees stay home from school that day," said Papillion-La Vista Public Schools' nurse Mary Dunn. "That also means that they are not allowed to come back to school with the use of medications such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen."

The number of flu cases in Douglas County is a concern. At the end of November there were 27 confirmed cases of influenza, that number is usually five or fewer. "We try to contain what we have, we know that it is out there, but we also know that we have to protect and prevent as much as we can and that is my job," said Dunn.

If necessary, the schools will clean and disinfect classrooms in an effort to keep flu cases to a minimum.

To find out just how bad this flu season is in the metro, Channel 6 News tried to speak to doctors with the Alegent Creighton Health Clinics, but they were too busy. The doctors were booked solid, many of their patients complaining of flu-like symptoms. The one thing they all had in common was none of the patients had received the flu vaccination.

Health care professionals urge anyone who has not received a flu vaccination to consider getting one.

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