CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – Flu season is here and that means schools in some areas are seeing a high number of absences among the student body. Some schools in Ohio and Kentucky have canceled classes because of illness.
Parent Ashley Clark said she’s doing her best to keep her kids healthy this flu season. Her oldest is in pre-school and her youngest goes to daycare. When they do get sick she doesn’t send them to school.
“I just got their flu shots for them. We try to stay in if it is too cold. If we come out we just bundle up. If they are running a fever or not feeling good I just keep them home for the day,” Clark said.
In Kanawha County Schools they urge all parents to do the same.
“If a parent gives us the symptoms and they have symptoms that could be the flu we forgive those absences and we don’t want them back until 24 hours after the fever is gone and the symptoms are gone,” explained Lead Nurse for Kanawha County Schools Brenda Isaac.
She said besides the flu, strep, colds and stomach bugs are also circulating. Schools are stepping up cleaning efforts by wiping down doorknobs, computer keyboards and desktops more frequently.
“I just send out a reminder. I’m probably doing it weekly now telling schools to remember to do that,” Isaac said. “A lot of the teachers even keep the Clorox wipes which, by the way, do not have bleach in them but they do have disinfectant in them and they have the kids wipe off their desks when they first come in and wipe off their desks before they leave.”
In Kanawha County, less than five percent of the school population was out last week with flu-like symptoms. School leaders said that is average for this time of year. They are seeing higher numbers in certain pockets.
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources recommends districts not close schools because of illness unless it becomes a staffing problem.
Health officials are also reminding parents that there is still time to get the flu shot.
To learn more about the flu you can visit the Centers for Disease Control.