Nearly 100 students at one Albany school are sent home sick -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Nearly 100 students at one Albany school are sent home sick

December 12, 2006

Albany-  A cold and flu outbreak at an Albany school keeps dozens of students home and leaves the school short on teachers. At Sherwood Christian Lower School on Stuart Avenue, 90 students and 10 teachers called in sick.  Unable to find enough substitute teachers, the school had to combine some of its classes Tuesday.

At Sherwood Christian Academy's lower campus six desks in Mrs. Noble's fourth grade class are empty. Many of the school's 300 students are sick.

"We had probably close to 90 students by the end of the day with low grade fevers things like this," said Glen Schultz, Sherwood Christian Academy Headmaster. 

A class of 16 was reduced to six and had to be combined with another because the teacher was also out sick. The school is doing everything it can to prevent the spread of viruses and germs.

"You wipe down phones, drinking fountains regularly throughout the day, those kind of things we've really tried to stay on top of those things with the students," said Schultz. 

They're not the only ones, some Dougherty County public schools are also reporting higher absences.

"There may be a school here or there that may have a little bit higher incidents than normal, but that's expected this time of year," said Brenda Greene, Health Department District Director of Nursing Clinic Services. 

To help cut down on the spread of viruses, parents should encourage students to cover their mouths and noses when they sneeze or cough.

"So that's what we really encourage is hand washing because that how this germ is spread from contact," said Greene.

If students are sick, parents are cautioned about sending them back to class too early.

"With the flu, the children can actually, or anybody, could be contagious from approximately three to seven days after their symptoms first occur so, just because they're felling a little bit better be very careful of sending them to school too early," said Greene. 

At Sherwood if the absences don't improve they're considering canceling classes.

"We have discussed that, is this the time to do it, probably closing for one day wouldn't do it?" questioned Schultz.

They're hoping to make it to Christmas break coming up at the end of the week, when both the students and the school can get a much deserved break.

Sherwood Christian Academy sent notes home with students advising parents of the situation with absences, and encouraging parents with sick students not to send them back to class too soon.  

So when you're sick, how can you tell if it's the cold or the flu? Flu symptoms are much more severe and include, a fever of 102 or higher that can last as long as four days, headache, muscle aches, weakness, and fatigue, or a cough that becomes severe. 

It takes a while for the flu to run its course and it's important that you stay hydrated while running fever.