Flu cases on the rise in county schools

By NICOLE SMITH
Posted 1/26/20

Multiple cases of flu have been diagnosed in Walker County schools, amid widespread flu activity reported across the country.

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Flu cases on the rise in county schools

Posted

Multiple cases of flu have been diagnosed in Walker County schools, amid widespread flu activity reported across the country.

Walker County Board of Education Director of Health Services Margaret Guthrie said there has recently been an increase of flu cases in county schools. 

Since students returned from Christmas break on Jan. 7, 73 cases of flu have been reported system-wide as of Thursday, Jan. 23.   

"The school nurses have taught proper handwashing techniques classes for grades Pre-K-4," Guthrie said. "We are encouraging students to wash their hands and also encouraging parents if your child is sick, please do not send them to school."

Cheryl Capps, principal of Sumiton Christian School, said 5% of their school population has been impacted by flu this year — 19 students and one staff member. 

"We don't want anyone to have the flu and have certainly tried diligently to keep everything disinfected to help prevent it from spreading," she said.

The Daily Mountain Eagle sent a request for flu statistics to Jasper City Schools on Thursday, Jan. 23, but a response had not been received by press time.

Guthrie provided an informational flyer to the Eagle from the Alabama Department of Public Health on influenza disease, citing the symptoms of flu can include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea.

The disease is spread through infected droplets from coughing, sneezing, etc., or by touching an infected surface.

According to Alabama Public Health's weekly influenza report from Jan. 12-18, 5.58 percent of people in Alabama have been diagnosed with flu. The majority of flu cases have been diagnosed in the southeastern portion of the state; however, significant influenza has been reported in all eight Alabama districts.

The Alabama Department of Public Health recommends those who have been diagnosed need to stay at home until they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications. Frequent hand washing is also recommended.

No pediatric flu deaths have been reported this year in the state, but three non-pediatric deaths have occurred.