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Multiple East Feliciana schools closed over flu outbreak

4 years 4 days 22 hours ago Thursday, February 20 2020 Feb 20, 2020 February 20, 2020 7:00 PM February 20, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

EAST FELICIANA PARISH - The school week came to an abrupt end for two East Feliciana Parish elementary schools. They are being hit hard with the flu.

Classes are canceled at Slaughter Elementary and Jackson Elementary. Both schools are closed this week to stop the spread of illness. 

"Flu A seems to be on the rise right now, and most of our children have gotten the vaccine. But, the flu has mutated beyond what the vaccine could do this year. Flu A is the one that's showing up mostly in our schools here," local RKM Primary Care Doctor Darie Gilliam said. 

On a typical Thursday morning, the halls of Jackson Elementary and Slaughter Elementary would be filled with students and staff. Instead, both campuses look abandoned, with classes abruptly canceled.

The CDC estimates that within the past four months, at least 14,000 people died because of flu. Within the last month, local doctors say they've seen an uptick in the Slaughter community. 

It's a reality Nurse Johnette Kay says we need to be aware of.

"We can do something to prevent having such horrible complications. Get the flu shot, wash your hands, stay home if you're sick."

The East Feliciana School Board released the following statement Thursday.

Due to several confirmed cases of influenza, we decided that it was in the best interest of our students and staff to close school at Jackson and Slaughter Elementary Schools Thursday, February 20, 2020 and Friday, February 21, 2020, in order to properly sanitize and prevent the spread of the virus to other students and staff members. We will continue this sanitization process of the Mardi Gras Holiday Break as well at our other schools as a preventative measure.

We recommend the following to parents, as per the Center for Disease Control:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to prevent influenza infection is to get a flu vaccine. There is no vaccine available for norovirus.

Talk to your child about practicing good health habits:

? Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can also be used if soap and water is not available.

? Cover mouth and nose into the inside of the elbow or with a tissue when sneezing or coughing and dispose of the tissue immediately into the trash.

? Avoid touching the "T zone"- eyes, nose and mouth.

? Avoid sharing drinks, water bottles, eating utensils and cell phones. Prevent spreading illness to others:

? Keep your sick child home from school until he/she has been fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication). It is important for your ill child to get rest and drink plenty of fluids.

? At home and school, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, toys and commonly shared items. Wash contaminated clothing or linen immediately with detergent at the maximum available cycle length and then machine dry.

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