Schools continue to battle swine flu - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Schools continue to battle swine flu

By Mike McDaniel - bio | email | Twitter

MARION COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - West Marion School District nurse Alecia Hollis isn't taking any chances. She's on the front lines in the battle to keep the swine flu out of schools as much as possible. So far, Hollis says there are 6 confirmed cases.

"We're not a single entity that is experiencing this, there's schools all over the state that's having the same problems," said Hollis.

With the school year now in full swing, Hollis says the school district, like all others, is following all health guidelines, sanitizer in the classrooms, repeated hand washing and wiping down door handles as well as keyboards.

Even with all the sanitizing and wiping, Hollis says some parents can't help but to panic.

"I think it's mostly the media, has really started panic in the sense of how many people is going to die from the flu this year," said Hollis.

With a presidential advisory panal's recent report indicating up to half of the American population could catch the virus and upwards of 90,000 possible deaths Hollis says the numbers aren't surprising, but they need to be put into perspective.

"You know 30,000 people die every year from just the regular flu," said Hollis.

Hollis says shutting the schools down would do no good. Preventative measures aren't just stopping inside the classrooms, bus drivers are also wiping down seats and sanitizing hand rails and when students get home they don't need to stop there either. Parents also play a role.

"They need to reinforce what we're trying to teach them here at school. I want them to reinforce good hand washing, making sure of cough etiquette," said Hollis.

If a child is showing symptoms Hollis advises parents to get them checked out and not send them to school.

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