Illnesses closing school doors

Illnesses closing school doors
By: Erica Byfield

PADUCAH, Ky. - It's the flu and cold season but for some reason this year the number of school aged children coming down with the bug is huge.

That's forcing area school leaders to close their doors to give the buildings an extra cleaning.     

We went to a school district that may be next. It goes with out saying, something is going around and it's keeping a number of the Heartland's littlest residents congested. "I threw up two days and I kept on coughing and I couldn't come to school" said first grader Hope Mason. "I had bronchitis" said Wallace McCoy. 

Head Nurse Celeste Emerson says it's just that time of year "mostly we're seeing high fever 102-103 some low grade 99.8, coughing, sneezing." Not to mention the number of students complaining about sore throats and headaches.

Emerson says all these aches and pains swirling through her districts boil down common illness like the flu and strep throat. "They need to keep them at home give them bed rest, force fluids on them, they can get over the counter medicines to treat some symptoms" she said.

First grade teacher Kem McCoy couldn't agree more, this week she's added another name to the absentee list each day "usually when one is out the one beside them is out the next day."

Nurse Emerson says this bug is slowly infecting more and more students across the district. Keeping at least ten percent of the students out of the classroom the last two days, something she says may not be a bad thing "we don't want them here with fevers."

The majority of the students out are in elementary school 190 of a total 335 absent on Wednesday.
At this point leaders in Paducah are playing the waiting game... because Celeste Emerson says Paducah City Schools may be the next to cancel classes if the absentee rate keeps inching higher.