Madison City Schools sends alert over flu outbreak - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Madison City Schools sends alert over flu outbreak

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Madison City Schools sent an alert to parents Thursday about the flu outbreak and another virus they're seeing pop up.

Their message is simple - if you're sick, you need to stay home. The district said that proactive approach is necessary because they know not every student is vaccinated.

The district's lead nurse sent an alert to all parents with that message. The statement says schools are seeing isolated cases of flu in addition to a stomach virus. The district is asking parents to evaluate students in three different ways before sending them off to school.

  • A student should remain at home until clear of all symptoms
  • A student should be free of fever without medicine for 24 hours before returning to school
  • A student should stay home if he or she has vomited or had diarrhea within eight hours of school starting.

"You know your child best and just because they have an important test or they feel like they can't miss school, they really don't perform well if they're not feeling good," said Lead Nurse Bonnie Davis.

Doctors say this flu season is already one of the worst in years. They asked that everyone older than six months of age get a flu shot, but people are still hesitant.

Dr. Tim Howard said it isn't just a recommendation from him, but that of the Centers for Disease Control, and they serve in the interest of people, not politicians.

Howard said it is nearly impossible to get the flu from the vaccination or the nasal spray. It takes your body a few weeks to build up your immunity, so if you come in contact with the virus before your body is up to speed, you can still get it.

He said it is also common for some people to feel achy or a little sick the day after taking the vaccine. Dr. Howard said that's just the body reacting to the vaccine and is normal. When you compare a day of feeling down versus the alternative, the doctor said it makes sense to get the vaccination.

"A healthy person who gets the flu and even getting on board with antiviral medication within one to two days is still probably looking at 3-5 days of lost productivity," Dr. Howard said.

The Alabama State Health Department said more than half of North Alabama's ten counties are seeing significant flu activity.

Madison City Schools said they have no plans to cancel class, citing that decision is only made when at least 20 percent of the student body is absent due to illness.

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