Jan 25, 2011 9:56 PM by Maddie Garrett

Flu Hitting Acadiana Schools Hard

Flu activity appears to be peaking in Louisiana and here in Acadiana this week. And that can certainly be seen in some local school, with one school in Lafayette reporting roughly 10 percent of its students out sick this week.

"I know in her class there was 5 or 6 out all week, the teacher's out, her teacher's out. There's a lot, there's a lot," said Beth Barrilleaux, who's daughter attends Our Lady of Fatima School in Lafayette.

"I'm kind of worried, wash your hands all the time, that's what I tell them," said another mom, Jennifer Hanks.

Parents said nearly 100 kids and teachers are home sick this week at Our Lady of Fatima; it's just one of many campuses getting hit with the flu. And they say even after getting the flu shot or mist, kids are still getting sick.

"I just hope it's not us. Watch for the symptoms, runny nose, fever, and if they come with it just keep them home," said Connie Moreau, who also has a child at Fatima.

But these parents aren't alone. The Centers for Disease Control is reporting Louisiana as one of 17 states with widespread flu activity.

"It just means that we're seeing a lot of flu and we are seeing a lot of flu right now," said Amber Littlefield, Director of Nursing for Lafayette Parish Schools.

Littlefield said January is usually the peak of flu season, and they're taking extra steps to warn parents and students about protecting themselves from the virus.

A few reminders:

  • Cough/sneeze into your elbow
  • Wash hands often
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Clean classrooms and home surfaces regularly

Littlefield said most importantly, students and faculty should stay home if they're running a fever and act quickly.

"If you think you have the flu get to the doctor as soon as you can because the first 48 hours are key," she said.


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