• 75°

Flu hits Long Cane Elementary

The flu is going around at Long Cane Elementary School, with almost one-fourth of students missing one or more days this week.

According to Troup County School System Interim Superintendent Roy Nichols, 25 percent of Long Cane Elementary School’s 540 students have missed a day this week.

“I think we have only about 75 percent of the students in school right now because of the flu. We are urging parents to keep their children home if they think they’re sick,” Nichols said.

It’s unclear how many of those missed days have been related to the flu, but school principal Katie Brown sent home a letter earlier this week to parents making them aware of the situation.

“Unfortunately, the flu has hit LCE,” the letter read. “If your child is sick, please keep them home until they have been fever free for 24 hours.”

Nichols said School staff and students are being provided with hand sanitizer, and students are encouraged to wash their hands frequently with soap and water.

“If you even think they are sick, keep them home,” Nichols said.

All hard surfaces have been wiped down with disinfectant and cleaning is ongoing at the school.

On Wednesday, Southern Environmental treated the facility with antimicrobial solution.

Dr. Kenneth Horlander works in pulmonary medicine for Emory at LaGrange and in the ICU for WellStar West Georgia Medical Center. He said flu cases have seemed to pick up in recent weeks.

“It seemed like we had a little bit of a bump up about a month ago in cases, and then it seemed to go away,” Horlander said. “Now it seems like we’re seeing a second wave. The kids seem to be getting it aggressively here recently. We have seen a lot of cases in the ER and in the clinic and in other clinics around town too.”

The Georgia Department of Public Health releases a weekly influenza report on Fridays and listed flu activity as “high” last week. The report studies only cases in the eight-county metro area, but 111 people were hospitalized and one person had died due to flu-like symptoms.

Horlander said if you get the flu, you should stay home and not spread germs. Anyone trying to avoid the flu should get the flu shot and wash hands frequently.

“Stay home if you’re sick,” he said. “We’re trying not to spread it around to everyone.”

He said it’s normal this time of year to have sniffles due to the colder weather, but the flu is a completely different feeling.

“If you just feel like you have a cold, if you have a runny nose or feel kind of congested, that’s normal for the weather,” Horlander said. “It’s either common cold or it’s weather and allergies and things like that. The real flu typically, they say it feels like getting hit by a bus. You are very quickly very sick with fever, chills, sweats and fatigue and then the other respiratory things like coughing and sneezing.”

He also said it’s important to see the doctor quickly if you have flu symptoms because Tamiflu, the most widely prescribed medicine, will only help within the first 48 hours.