While there is currently no officially declared severe flu outbreak at any of the Campbell County School District schools, there are still plenty of illnesses floating around, according to two local elementary school nurses.
CCSD Director of Student Support Services Kip Farnum said he is notified by the individual school nurses when over 20% of the student body population is absent, and this has not yet occurred this school year. He said that it would typically be really early in the season for schools to be experiencing a severe flu outbreak.
Nonetheless, many students are calling in sick, early or not.
“All of the schools are seeing an upward trend, which is early in the year,” Conestoga Elementary School Nurse Paula Petry said. “I am extremely surprised.”
Petry noted that she has seen influenza, stomach bugs, and strep throat this school year, and cautioned parents to follow district protocol and only send children to school if they’ve been fever free for 24 hours and are not using any fever-reducing medicines. She further said this policy helps to curb illnesses and protects the immune-vulnerable students and staff.
Buffalo Ridge Elementary School Nurse Misti Braun said that, while there have not been any reported cases of the flu yet this school year at her location, she has seen multiple cases of the stomach bug and strep throat. She too urged the public to keep kids home if they are sick, to wash their hands, and to get a flu shot. Braun added that other schools are already seeing cases of the flu super early this season.
Petry hopes the long, holiday weekend will help curb the spread of some of these illnesses running rampant in the schools.
“The holiday will give the immune systems a chance to recover,” Petry said, noting that the classrooms with the lowest immunization rates from this year’s free flu shots from the Campbell County Public Health initiative have already had four students test positive for the flu.
Check CCSD’s “Should I Keep My Sick Child Home from School?” guide for information about when to keep your student home.