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Cases of flu continue to flourish in Madison schools

MADISON – Cases of this season’s influenza are affecting students and teachers in Madison City Schools, but, luckily, the effect is not as severe as in neighboring counties.

Robby Parker, Superintendent of Madison City Schools, said the Madison district has witnessed “some above-normal absenteeism but not a major outbreak — so far.”

However, other North Alabama school districts have been forced to close due to flu outbreaks. City schools in Albertville and Boaz, Ala. and Fayetteville, Tenn. and Cullman County Schools were closed Feb. 8 and 9. Marshall County Schools are dismissed through Feb. 13.

“Some national health officials are saying the worst is yet to come this flu season,” Parker said. “In light of these warnings and the extent of flu across our community, we are ramping up sanitizing in our schools.”

In Madison, nightly floor cleaning crews have been tasked to sanitize common areas, like handrails, water fountains and doorknobs. This disinfecting is in addition to regular custodial cleanings, Parker said.

Bonnie Davis and the district’s nursing staff have been working with principals to prevent the spread of flu. “The best way to heal from and prevent the spread of the flu virus or other illnesses is to keep your child home if they are sick,” Davis said. Davis serves as MCS Health Services/School System Nurse.

A child who has had a temperature of 100 degrees F. or higher must be fever-free for 24 hours, without the use of medication, before returning to school. “Sending children to school sick continues to spread the virus to others,” Davis said.

Common-sense practices are excellent deterrents against flu and disease. Davis reminded everyone to wash hands frequently throughout the day, avoid placing hands on the face and cough or sneeze into the elbow, not the hands.

Davis thanked Madison parents for partnering with school personnel to limit the flu spread. “We all must stay ahead of it for a healthier school environment,” she said.

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