Archive for Thursday, December 18, 2003

Flu persists in schools; nurse eager for holidays

December 18, 2003

It appears the illnesses that have been floating through Tonganoxie are infecting more elementary school students.

And Tonganoxie Dr. Philip Stevens is reporting that recently he's seen a total of 30 people who have the flu.

"And, of course, we've had lots of people with bronchitis," Stevens said.

Stevens even has sent one person, whom he described as acutely ill with flu, to the hospital.

Like most teachers and students in Tonganoxie, Stevens is eager for Friday, which is the final day of school before winter break. Students and staff won't return to classrooms for about two weeks.

"Once school lets out, it almost always subsides," Stevens said about the incidents of illness.

Late last week, Stevens received 80 doses of flu vaccine, and on Friday he and his staff gave 50 doses to area residents.

He's now out of the vaccine.

At Tonganoxie Elementary School, about 60 students were ill on Monday, according to secretary Carlie Puhr.

"There are actually a few more today than there were last week," she said.

TES nurse Stephanie Hebert agrees with Stevens that the winter break will be a help.

She said some illnesses are lasting seven to 10 days.

"And you can't keep your kids home that long," she said.

So many children are in school, even though they don't feel well. Children are reporting a lot of sore throats, respiratory problems, high temperatures and aches, Hebert said.

At Tonganoxie High School, attendance secretary Barbara Easter reported little increase in the number of students who are ill.

And at the junior high, secretary Louise Holton reported that fewer students were ill than last week.

"We're getting better here," she said.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.