Officials take precautions after several students get sick - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Bolton school officials take precautions after several students get sick with flu

Bolton Center School Bolton Center School

A nasty bug is crippling one Connecticut school. Officials at an elementary school in Bolton are taking precautions after more than 100 students were suffering from flu-like symptoms.

Superintendent of Schools Kristin B. Heckt said there is no documented outbreak of the flu at Bolton Center School. However, school officials received more than 100 calls from parents of students becoming ill from Friday to Tuesday.

"Certainly, it's much higher than would be a normal occurrence," Heckt said.

On Friday, 15 percent of the school, which is pre-K through eighth grade, was out sick and the bug knocked 30 percent of the school population out of classes Monday. On Tuesday, 24 fewer students called out sick.

However, there are only three confirmed cases of the flu while others are suffering from upper respiratory problems.

"We do have student with upper respiratory illness going on," Heckt said. "Some vomiting, some fever, so it really does run the gamut."

School officials have canceled all after-school activities including a PTA meeting and a concert scheduled for this week as a precaution.

"We made a decision to not have the school dance that night, so we won't pass around more germs," Heckt said. "It's not a good idea."

An anti-bacterial scrubbing was scheduled for each day this week, Heckt said. Employees are wiping down desks and door knobs with anti-bacterial liquids while asking teachers to implement some health tips into their lessons.

Heckt said no other schools are being affected by the bug.

The following tips were offered by school officials to help students avoid getting sick:

  • Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also are effective.
  • Practice respiratory etiquette by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder, not into your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.
  • Know the signs and symptoms of the flu. A fever is a temperature taken with a thermometer that is equal to or greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius. Look for possible signs of fever: if the person feels very warm, has a flushed appearance, or is sweating or shivering.
  • Stay home if you have flu or flu-like illness for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) or signs of a fever (have chills, feel very warm, have a flushed appearance, or are sweating). This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen). Do not go to class or work.
  • Talk with your healthcare providers about whether you should be vaccinated for seasonal flu.

For more information about flu vaccinations, click here.

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