Not many swine flu cases at DCSS schools... yet - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Not many swine flu cases at DCSS schools... yet

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Dougherty County Schools aren't being hit hard by the swine flu yet, but they are preparing for a possible onslaught of sick students.

So far, fewer than 50 kids have been sent home with symptoms. But since this flu spreads so easily, and kids are now back in close quarters, administrators expect a big spike in absenteeism soon.

School's back in, and students are sharing more than just lecture notes and study tips. They're also sharing germs.  R.D. Harter said, "We do know we have flu like symptoms, we're not reporting in our schools to the extent that some of the other surrounding school systems are reporting, but we are seeing cases of flu symptoms in our schools."

And it's expected that the number of cases and the number of absences will multiply. Harter, DCSS Public Information Director said, "We have been told that this season will be a bad season for flu like symptoms and absenteeism for children. We regret that and want children in school to progress."

And so they are stepping up lessons to keep kids well. "We're taking extra measures," said Harter.  "Teaching kids about hand washing, washing more frequently."

Such a simple concept. It's one the health department is trying to spread too, to keep germs from spreading.  Sue Ewings said, "Hand washing with soap and water, or alcohol based hand sanitizers, covering coughs, something as simple as that, could prevent a lot of illnesses."

Keeping kids swine free, and in school.

The Centers for Disease control and prevention says children and adults with the flu should stay at home, away from others until 24 hours after their fever is gone. Children who go to school sick, will be isolated from others and sent home.

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