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'Large Number of Kids' Absent from Harrison With Flu-Like Symptoms

Parents throughout District 304 are encouraged to keep children home when ill and wait 24 hours fever-free before sending them back.

At least one elementary school in Geneva is seeing more instances of flu and is reminding parents to keep kids home to avoid the spread of influenza.

"As this week’s begun, we are seeing a large number of our students absent due to flu-like illness," Harrison Street School  Principal Shonette Sims said Tuesday in a 304Connects e-mail note to parents. "We are encouraging you to please keep your child(ren) home when ill and wait the full 24 hours fever-free before returning them."

Harrison and schools throughout District 304 are asking parents to help students practice the three C’s: clean, cover and contain.

"As a school, we are encouraging our students to wash their hands frequently and avoid touching mucus areas/zones," Sims said. "Our custodial staff is giving extra attention to contact areas and classroom surfaces. Our teachers are watching for signs of illness and referring those exhibiting symptoms to Ms. Moellendorf, our building nurse."

Some words to the wise, courtesy of School District 304:

Influenza by definition is an acute viral disease of the respiratory tract, which usually lasts from two to seven days. lnfluenza is spread from person to person by direct contact with infected droplets from the nose or throat. Airborne spread among crowded populations in enclosed spaces is quite common.

The time between exposure to the infection and development of symptoms (incubation period) is usually one to five days. Influenza vaccine may be given to anyone wishing to decrease his or her chances of acquiring influenza disease.

Contact your healthcare provider for more information regarding vaccination. 

What are the symptoms of influenza? 

  • Fever (usually above 10() degrees) Headache and bodyache 
  • Runny nose 
  • Mild sore throat 
  • Weakness 
  • Dry hacking cough 
  • Vomiting and diarrhea 

How is influenza treated? 

  • Since influenza is a viral illness, there is no specific treatment or medications to take. 
  • Good management should include obtaining adequate rest, proper nutrition and plenty of fluids. 
  • Non-aspirin products can be taken to relieve fever as recommended by your doctor. 

As the Geneva CUSD #304 Parent Handbook states, the following are the guidelines for returning your child to school:

  1. Students with fever, vomiting, or diarrhea may not return to school until they are symptom free for a minimum of 24 hours.
  2. The student must feel well enough to return lo the classroom. 
DJP December 19, 2012 at 12:27 AM
The best way to ensure that parents follow the 24 hour fever free rule is to have a school nurse check that student with an ear thermometer before allowing that student back to class. While not 100% full proof it will help cut down on the spread of germs and this policy will discourage those parents who have total disregard for other students health.

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