School Hit Hard By Virus

By: Michel Mason Email
By: Michel Mason Email

More than 90 students stayed home from class at Emmalena Elementary School in Knott County. 10 staff members were also sick. School officials also cancelled a basketball game at the school Monday night.

About 1/3 of the students at were affected, most with the same GI virus. Meanwhile, major cleaning got underway at the school.

"We have our custodians and our staff who are here, cleaning and disinfecting to try and take care of the spread so that it will not spread further," said Principal Sharon Johnson.

Schools are no stranger to illness this time of year, but Johnson says it makes learning more difficult.

"I just hope we don't have another one like this again this year. I know the weather has changed and anytime the weather changes we tend to have more get sick," added Johnson.

"In the winter, there's more gathering of people into confined spaces and that will contribute to the high incidence of this virus," said Dr. Rene Santin.

Doctors say the best way to prevent spreading the virus is frequent hand washing. You should also avoid sharing utensils or drinks.

"The mode of transmission of this virus is through the mouth, so the most important thing is hand washing," added Dr. Santin.

School officials replenished their supply of disinfectant, and bought supplies for each classroom.

Doctors say the virus can last three to eight days. They say plenty of fluids and lots of rest is the only way to treat the illness.

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