The number of flu cases in South Carolina jumped sharply between the middle of December and the end of the month.
The Department of Health and Environmental Control says there were 3,700 positive tests for flu the week ending Dec. 13. That jumped sharply to nearly 9,000 cases for the week ending Dec. 20 and nearly 10,000 for the week ending Dec. 27.
Now, schools are bracing for possibly sick students as class returns from winter vacation. Students in Florence School District Three return Tuesday, and on Monday teachers say they were busy preparing for lesson plans and for possibly sick students.
“They cough all over you and wipe their hands all over you and their noses and everything goes all over you,” says Debbie McAllister, who teaches kindergarten at Scranton Elementary. She says she’s teaching all about germs when her students return to class.
“We teach that kids need to wash their hands frequently, keep their mouth covered with their elbow, and just be safe and cautious with germs spreading,” she says.
Stopping germs at the source is especially important to FSD3 Nurse Darlene Graham.
“It spreads so fast. you know, when they’re coughing all over each other, and the ones in the health room with them are catching the flu just by being in there with them, Nurse Graham says. She recommends parents take every precaution they can to prevent the spread of the flu and other illnesses.
Graham says: “If they do have a fever, they need to not send them back to school until the fever’s gone for 24 hours without taking any Tylenol or ibuprofen.”