Is the flu in your school?

  1. Hey fellow school nurses,

    Just curious if students/teachers have been diagnosed with the flu and how you've handled it with other parents/staff. I've had a bunch of kids whose parents have diagnosed them with the flu but that's not exactly the same thing !
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  2. Visit Jacquipals profile page

    About Jacquipals, BSN, RN

    Joined: Nov '16; Posts: 55; Likes: 99
    from MA
    Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience

    51 Comments

  3. by   OyWithThePoodles
    Yup. Lots.
    I do not let other parents know if flu is in the classroom, sucks, but oy the mass hysteria that would cause. It's bad enough when a teacher knows there is flu in the class.

    I just send out lots of emails reminding teachers about hand washing/sanitizing and kids maintaining personal space.
  4. by   Amethya
    I had maybe 2? But that's it. Mostly because we sent out a mass letter to all parents about it, no mass hysteria in my school. I also sent an email to my staff about cleaning and washing their hands. So far, no issues.
  5. by   OldDude
    Flu is out there but the data is mostly subjective. I try to counter the hysteria with objective information which I email to the staff this time of year. Reminding them to keep up the hand washing, cleaning common surfaces with the disinfectant wipes we provide and remind everyone to cough and sneeze into their elbow. Last week I emailed out the numbers of kids I "sent" home and reminded the staff the kids are not "dropping like flies." For instance, "Monday I sent one student home for vomiting and 2 home for fever, Tuesday I sent no students home for illness, Wednesday..." Then I reminded them we have almost 700 kids, staff, and visitors, so all and all, those numbers are not abnormal. Fingers crossed things stay the same!!!

    When I hear a staff member say, "They're dropping flies!" I see RED...and have "negative" thoughts, LOL.
  6. by   KeeperOfTheIceRN
    It's in our school, though I've personally only sent home 2 with flu symptoms. The rest have been parents calling in to inform us that their child is sick. We did get an email yesterday informing us that a younger sibling of two of our students had passed away from what they believe to be the result of the flu. I don't know details on that though and I don't need to. It's sad no matter what. I have also mailed out info to our parents/teachers with tips, recommendations (i.e.: stay home when you're sick), and other things I felt were important to include. Trying to teach my 8 year old the importance of washing his hands and covering his mouth is another story though!! He's currently in an "I know everything" phase, so
  7. by   NutmeggeRN
    Quote from KeeperOfTheIceRN
    It's in our school, though I've personally only sent home 2 with flu symptoms. The rest have been parents calling in to inform us that their child is sick. We did get an email yesterday informing us that a younger sibling of two of our students had passed away from what they believe to be the result of the flu. I don't know details on that though and I don't need to. It's sad no matter what. I have also mailed out info to our parents/teachers with tips, recommendations (i.e.: stay home when you're sick), and other things I felt were important to include. Trying to teach my 8 year old the importance of washing his hands and covering his mouth is another story though!! He's currently in an "I know everything" phase, so
    Oh my...that is terrible. I have included information on the flu and some of the associated risks ofthe post secondary pnuemonia. I think it is important that we educate as much as possible. I agree, it is easy to start off a hysterical response but WE can set the tone.

    Possiblity vs probablility, but sadly, that possibility is raising its ugly head this year. A 37 year old mom died in NH this week. A previously healthy 37 y/o.
  8. by   ruby_jane
    Yes- but an amazing thing is happening. Parents are keeping kids home, getting them tested, and reporting back to the school that the student has a diagnosed case of influenza!

    This has never happened to me before. Usually I'm sending them home and it's a fight to keep them home.
  9. by   Amethya
    Quote from NutmeggeRN
    Oh my...that is terrible. I have included information on the flu and some of the associated risks ofthe post secondary pnuemonia. I think it is important that we educate as much as possible. I agree, it is easy to start off a hysterical response but WE can set the tone.

    Possiblity vs probablility, but sadly, that possibility is raising its ugly head this year. A 37 year old mom died in NH this week. A previously healthy 37 y/o.
    It's always been a possibility, my sister-in-law passed away from flu complications at 28 years-old, 5 years ago. She was pregnant 3 months. It's was a very sad new years eve for us. But it's becoming more of a possibility with this strain, and I been making sure my kids took the flu shot and we are all washing our hands at home and outside of home.
  10. by   WineRN
    We have had about 8 confirmed cases of influenza a since we got back a few weeks ago. Some of the schools in my district are up to 20 confirmed, so I really can't complain. I had to send out one letter because there was a cluster in one class.

    Just like the responses above, I try to be a source of knowledge for my staff about the flu. I've sent out charts with the difference between influenza, the "stomach flu" and viral URIs; any time someone says "i heard so and so has the flu" I ask what the symptoms were and 9 times out of 10 its a stomach virus and not influenza, and I send out article about the flu whenever I see one that fits my elementary pop. I've reminded some of my more anxious staff members that there is a reason they call it the "flu season". Every year it makes it's bell curve, just like the warm and cold weather does. All we can do is prepare for it by keeping everything clean and push hand washing all day long.

    And my staff knows that I don't trust a parent who says their kid had the flu unless they actually went to the doctor or someone else in the household was diagnosed. We had a family actually fake a flu diagnosis so their kids absences would be excused for the week while they went on a trip (the smallest one told everyone about it when he got back).
  11. by   grammy1
    Ok Old Dude, you'd be mad at me but I actually used the "Dropping like flies" term yesterday. I sent 6 home, 4 with temps over 103, the other 2 between 101-102. I've got a sick bunch this week.
  12. by   JenTheSchoolRN
    Quote from grammy1
    Ok Old Dude, you'd be mad at me but I actually used the "Dropping like flies" term yesterday. I sent 6 home, 4 with temps over 103, the other 2 between 101-102. I've got a sick bunch this week.
    See, that may be cause for alarm for me.

    I'm used that term ONCE. A few years ago I had a 24-48 hour stomach bug reek havoc in my 12th grade. Over half the grade was out with symptoms of it and since some seniors were also in the school musical, the puking continued its spread with those students. On a Friday, I had 10% of our students out with these symptoms (as well as I could track, of course). I went to my boss and we cancelled after school (not the musical though as it was closing that night) and had a cleaning service come in to deep clean the school that weekend.

    I was working backstage at the musical that night and had an additional 5 or so pukers (ugh) but luckily the spread stopped over the weekend and we returned to a nice clean school on Monday.

    And nope, I didn't get sick. Thankfully .
  13. by   OyWithThePoodles
    Oh, how sad about the sibling.

    I sent 13 home yesterday. I am up to 5 today. we have between 499 students enrolled and there are 48 out (not counting the 5 I sent home)
  14. by   Supernrse01
    We have had a lot of confirmed cases, throughout all 4 of my schools. I don't send notifications- the mass hysteria that follows is just not worth it, especially when Flu outbreak is all over the news. It's flu season and it is out there.

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