Health officials warn of flu as school starts back

Health officials warn of flu as school starts back-1/6/2020

COMANCHE COUNTY, Okla. (TNN) -It's back to school for many districts in the area, and health officials are reminding people to get their flu vaccinations if you haven't already.

We spoke with Elgin’s Superintendent about why it’s so important to keep your kids home when they’re sick.

Sneezing, coughing, and runny noses--it’s not something you want to see your child doing after coming home from school.

“There’s a lot of travel through the holidays,” said Janene Atchley, District Nurse Manager at the Comanche County Health Department. “Usually this time of year, January and February, we do see flu numbers tend to peak.”

There are several ways you can prepare your child before they head back to school.

“If you haven’t received your flu vaccine, it’s a good idea to go ahead and get that,” said Atchley. “Remind kids to not share drinks, wash hands frequently, use alcohol based rub when you don’t have soap and water. Covering your cough, staying home when you’re sick.”

She also says you can clean any surfaces that are frequently touched, like your child’s backpack or school supplies.

Over the break, Elgin Public Schools disinfected their classrooms, in hopes of helping to prevent canceling school from a flu outbreak like in 2018.

“They’re using the Lysol and clorox wipes and keeping everything as clean as possible,” said Nate Meraz, Elgin Public School Superintendent. “We’re doing our best on that end to limit any viral things that might be on the surfaces.”

Meraz says it’s not an easy decision to cancel school like in the past.

“But when you get up there to 20 to 25 percent of your population is calling in sick, then it’s probably time to consider that,” said Meraz.

He says if your child is displaying symptoms of being sick, please keep them home.

“Make sure they’re fever free for 24 hours then send your kid back to school,” said Meraz. “We’ll always get the work made up. No one likes to miss, but it’s what’s best for us as a community to try and prevent the spread of the flu.”

The Comanche County Health Department recommends anyone over the age of 6 months old, to get vaccinated. They offer the vaccine to anyone with or without insurance.

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