CLINTON, MS (WLBT) - The flu bug is spreading through Clinton schools, taking a toll on the students district wide.
Since last Friday, hundreds of children have been absent with flu-like symptoms.
The virus district reported that about 10 percent of their population is absent because of the spreading illness. There are more than 5,300 students in the district, and Friday, 555 were absent.
“If you’ve been exposed, if you know two of your friends that you’ve been in close contact with have been diagnosed with the flu, I would definitely call. Have your parents call the doctor,” said Clinton Public Schools District nurse Renee Martin.
Clinton Junior High has seen the hardest hit, with 230 absences. Seventy-four were absent at Clinton High School. Eastside Elementary reported 84 absences.
Extra precautions were taken at Clinton Junior High to keep the virus from spreading.
“Over the weekend, we hired a company to come in to deep-clean and disinfect the junior high. And so they wiped down door knobs and lockers and desks and hallways, common areas where students are, to try to make it a safer place for our kids,” said Sandi Beason, Clinton Public Schools Information Officer.
Students reporting high fever, headaches and body aches have been being sent home.
“When they’re running fever, keep them at home,” added Martin. “They are not to return to school for 24 hours after they are sent home with a temperature. They do need to be fever-free with no medication to come back to school.”
Students in the district are urged to use disinfecting wipes on their desks. Hand washing, using hand sanitizer and not sharing food or drink are also recommended to prevent the spread of the flu.