School nurses warn flu virus could take off as children return t - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

School nurses warn flu virus could take off as children return to school

ILLINOIS (KFVS) - If you or your child is feeling a little under the weather, you're not alone.

This year's flu epidemic hit earlier and harder than usual and school nurses are warning the virus could take off as children return to school this week after winter break.

It's only the first day back after winter break and already, District #3's school nurse said she sent four students home before lunch.

Right now at West Side Elementary, it's normal for 25 and 30 students to be absent on any given day.

Lexi Barton is the school nurse and explained that even after a child recovers from the flu or a virus, their immune systems are shot.

So, when they come back to school they are at a greater risk of getting sick all over again.

"For some reason, even the common cold is lasting sometimes three weeks with some people. Some kids that I know that tested positive for the flu over Christmas break are still having symptoms. Runny nose and kind of the snotty, junky cough and it is just taking them longer to get over this year," said Lexi Barton.

Barton said parents should call a doctor if a child has flu symptoms and a fever of more than 100.4 degrees. Patients should stay home until they go 24 hours without a fever and without using fever-reducing medicine.

Barton's best advice for parents to prevent spreading germs: washes your hands and stay home if you're sick.

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