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Some Local Schools Seeing Flu Cases Early

Updated: Tuesday, January 15 2013, 11:54 AM EST

Flu cases are picking up. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 41 states are dealing with widespread outbreak of flu, including Florida.
Escambia and Okaloosa counties are reporting a moderate number of cases. Santa Rosa County has seen what's being described as a mild number of flu patients.
Doctors are worried about children. Nationwide, 18 have already died from the flu.
A letter was sent out to parents last month after a handful of cases of influenza were confirmed at N.B. Cook Elementary School. It and other schools in the area aren't taking any chances.

Martha Hanna, the health services coordinator for the Escambia County School District, says, "We have increased numbers as well as earlier in the season."

She says they saw a higher than normal number of flu cases among students in November and that, "We usually see it starting later December."

Santa Rosa County and Okaloosa County schools say they haven't seen anything abnormal yet. But as many parents and grandparents know all too well, it's good to be cautious.

Jesse Serwit, of Pensacola, says, "The best thing to do is to teach the kids to make sure that they always wash their hands."

Connie Lynn Cooper, a mother, recommends that you, "Cover when you cough. Try to make sure others around you cover when they cough."
It's also, of course, key for kids to get a good night's sleep.
Authorities recommend getting the flu shot if you haven't done so already, although some are not so hot on the idea.

Cooper told us, "I get sick when i take 'em so why take 'em so why not just skip it and if you get sick you get sick."

Experts say the vaccination is between 60 to 85 percent effective. But, they say if people who have had the shot do come down with the flu, they seem to have a less severe and shorter course of the illness.
Authorities remind parents if your kids are showing any flu-like symptoms they should stay home. Schools are prepared to have them make up any work they might miss.

Some Local Schools Seeing Flu Cases Early

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Flu Signs and Symptoms

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:


Flu Symptoms (more intense than common cold):

  • Fever 
  • Body aches
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Dry cough are more common and intense
  • Chills
  • HeadachesCommon

Cold Symptoms:  
  • Stuffy/runny nose
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever is rare
  • Slight body aches
  • Mild fatigue

Source: Centers for Disease Control

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