It’s flu season and schools across the nation, as well as the state, are dealing with this year's outbreak. Catoosa County Schools have been fortunate so far, but that doesn’t mean school officials take the threat lightly.
According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, as of Jan. 31, 37 people in the state of Georgia have lost their lives to flu-related illnesses this season. Almost none of the victims were children, but children can carry the flu home to vulnerable elderly relatives or to those whose immune systems are compromised. And having the flu means missing school days.
"Every winter during cold and flu season," says Marissa Brower, Catoosa County Schools communications specialist, "we increase classroom and bus disinfectant procedures. We have a nurse in every school who works very closely with our custodial staff. If a child is absent for two days or is sent home with flu-like symptoms, we have specific classroom disinfectant procedures that are followed before students return to school the next morning."
Brower says there is also regular communication between school nurses, the director of student services and the system head nurse. "We believe this communication is critical in the prevention of widespread outbreaks of flu in our schools," says Brower. "School nurses also evaluate student health daily and send students home quickly if they develop flu-like symptoms."
Brower says that parents can rest assured that their children’s schools are keeping an eye on any flu threats.