Flu symptoms send many students home - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Flu symptoms send many students home

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

Thomasville,  GA (WALB) -  With school back in session, hundreds of students and staff in Southwest Georgia are forced leave school in the middle of the day with flu-like symptoms.

 Public heath departments are treating the cases as pandemic H1N1 flu clusters. Even though every person who goes home sick has not received positive test results for H1N1, they are being treated that way.

In Thomas County schools, more than 100 kids were sent home Friday.  School officials were warned by health officials to expect a wave of swine flu among students, likely during the third week of classes.

In Thomas County, dozens of students starting coming down with symptoms Wednesday, a little over a week after school began. 

 On the elementary school level, more than 30 kids were sent home Friday. At the county middle school, 57, and several more at the high school went home sick. The numbers were about the same the past couple of days.

But it isn't just students going home with high fevers, several teachers have gone home too. We spoke with a 1st grade teacher today who is doing everything she can to keep her kids in the classroom, and at home, swine-flu free. 

"With two babies at home I go home and change my clothes before I get my babies because my youngest I don't want to take any risks of her catching anything," said Jenny Holt.

"We've been very aggressive with sending kids home," said Head Nurse Terri Matthews. "We've identified any and all kids who are complaining of headache stomach ache, sore throat, anything that may give us some indication they may have the flu, as well as fever."

Kids are sent home with even the slightest fever. When they come to the nurse they have to stay there until a parent can pick them up. Under no circumstances are sick children allowed to ride the bus home. It's important to remember Pandemic H1N1 flu is more contagious than regular seasonal flu and has a high attack rate in children and teens.

So teachers everywhere are stressing hand-washing over anything else. If you are a parent and your child is sent home, remember to keep your child home until 24 hours after their fever is gone without using fever reducing medicine. If you send them back sick, they're only going to get sent home again.

Health officials advise flu patients to get plenty of rest, drink plenty of water, and wear a mask around others in your home if possible. Also, don't give aspirin to children with the flu, use a fever reducer like Tylenol.

And if symptoms include trouble breathing or vomiting, seek emergency treatment.

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