East Texas Students are Fighting Flu and Combating Colds - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

02/09/07 - Angelina County

East Texas Students are Fighting Flu and Combating Colds

by Ramonica R. Jones

Almost a half dozen East Texas schools have called off classes because too many students are out fighting the flu. Angelina County campuses are among those being hit by the virus, but administrators are trying to keep the illness at bay before it becomes an epidemic.

St. Cyprian's Head of School Jay Perry said, "We just cover everything with hand sanitizer and cleaner. We have cleaner and sanitizer in the office. If they have a temperature in excess of 99 degrees, we send them home for 24 hours until they're temperature-free, and same thing if they throw up - they have to stay home for 24 hours."

More than 170 boys and girls go to St. Cyprian's School in Lufkin. They learn, play, and get sick together. Only a handful of students were out sick this week. School leaders believe it's because more parents are taking the time to teach their kids about health and hygiene.

"Our parents are really proactive about their students and so we don't have them send them here when they're sick and that helps quite a bit," said Perry.

And students are also doing their part to avoid catching and spreading germs.

Fourth grader Emily Stafford said, "I wash my hands and I use lots of Germ-x and hand sanitizer and I exercise to stay healthy and I get lots of sleep."

Many schools now keep hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial soaps and wipes in each classroom for students and teachers to use.

Flu season in Texas usually runs from October through March. February is often the month with the most flu cases.

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