Flu Season Taking its Toll on Local Schools

Some schools are trying to stay ahead of the flu bug. There are lots of empty seats in classrooms across Thomas County this week, and the kids aren't skipping school, they're sick with unknown viruses that are still active because even more students are being sent home with fevers and stomach aches.

Terri Matthews, a nurse at Garrison Pilcher Elementary, says, "Kids are probably a little more susceptible because they put their hands in their mouth, they don't wash their hands as well as they should. They're all over each other in line. They do a lot of touch, in the classrooms there are community areas such as keyboards."

So keeping those fingers free of germs is a priority.

Kathy Swearingen, a teacher, says, "We do a lot of washing hands. That's the big thing and we always use sanitizer. The kids are all aware of the fact they need to make sure they use tissue. We've gone through lots and lots of tissue."

But even tissues and sanitizer don't work all the time. The nurses are now getting sick, too. For now, nurses are more concerned with getting students proper treatment so they can return to their seats.

Parents are being urged to provide schools with daytime contact information, those who don't can expect their sick child to spend all day in the school nurse's office.