Monday, September 24, 2012
Attendance back to normal at Landsdowne Elementary after stomach bug outbreak
Attendance is back up today at Landsdowne Elementary after a stomach bug caused more than 130 students and staff absences last week, said Michelle Marra, district health coordinator for Fayette County Schools.
The bug, which was “a run-of-the-mill stomach virus,” not a flu, kept about 120 students and a dozen staff members out of school on Friday, Sept. 21, Marra said.
“For whatever reason, it did kind of hit this one school particularly hard. It looks like it’s certainly run its course. Attendance is better today and we just expect it to get better as the week progresses,” Marra said.
Fortunately, Fayette County schools have not seen high absences due to this kind of illness in recent years, Marra said, so these stomach bug cases allowed the school to see that they are prepared to deal with an outbreak of this kind.
“Every year we always get concerned when either a new flu bug or a true influenza virus comes through, how would we handle those increased absences and those kinds of things,” Marra said. “So, seeing an illness like this that quickly hit and moved on —it’s kind of comforting that we have mechanisms in place and our staff know exactly what to do in regards to increasing their cleaning procedures and getting kids home quickly if they are showing symptoms.”
Though the virus has mostly passed at Landsdowne, and was not a problem at other Fayette County schools, parents are still encouraged to take precautions to prevent further spread of these types of illnesses.
The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department urges proper hand washing, thorough cleaning and sanitizing and staying home from school or work if experiencing any signs of a stomach bug, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramping.
“Parents should take a few minutes this week to remind their school-aged kids to wash their hands frequently throughout the day, particularly after using the toilet,” said Kevin Hall, health department spokesman. “Hand-sanitizers aren’t enough in fighting this illness, so using soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds is recommended.”
For additional information, visit Lexington-Fayette County Health Department on Facebook, or on Twitter.