The flu season is upon the Clay Community School Corporation at a faster rate than previous years.
"Last year during October, there was no talk of the flu," Coordinator of Health Services Lynn Stoelting. "That is not the case this year."
The stable absentee rate for the schools is between 10-15-percent weekly. Each school is monitoring its own absences and Stoelting is updated regularly on the number of students out because of illness.
"The number of absentee students are not just those suffering from the flu," she said. "It could also be because of strep throat, sinus infections or allergies."
According to Stoelting, there were approximately 18 percent of students absent from school due to an illness two weeks ago. There was also one day at the Linking Education to Adults, Adolescents and Preschoolers (LEAAP) Center where 22 percent of the students were absent. At that time, the students in the adult classes were asked to stay home.
Though school nurses are doing everything they can, Stoelting said the first line of defense starts with parents.
"Students are going to get sick while at school," she said. "But while at home, parents should observe their children and contact their family physician if any symptoms should arise."
"We are very fortunate to have a health department that was able to get the vaccines out quickly," she added. "Many schools are still waiting."
At the beginning of the school year, students were given information on good hygiene and how to avoid passing germs.
"I have seen an increase in good hygiene in students, not only in the schools but around town," she said. "The teachers are doing a good job reinforcing it, and we are hoping to reduce the spread of germs and this virus."
Bitten by the flu bug
With the flu season making its appearance known throughout the schools in the Clay Community School Corporation, Coordinator of Health Services Lynn Stoelting is encouraging parents and guardians to be on the look for the most common symptoms, which include;
* Sore Throat,
* Runny nose,
* Muscle aches,
* Vomiting, and
For more information, contact your family physician or the Clay County Health Department at 448-9019, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.