GATESVILLE, TX - The flu outbreak is causing several Central Texas districts to cancel classes, but another small town is hoping to stay ahead of the spread.
The Gatesville Independent School District is begging parents to keep children with flu symptoms at home.
The parents understand the school district's concern. After the Clifton Independent School District canceled school last week, Itasca is following suit with no classes for the next three days.
Gatesville hopes to avoid this outcome.
All three of Kaitlin Phillips' children are just getting over the flu.
"It started with our youngest and went through everybody. We all have fever, coughs and body aches," Kaitlin says.
LaJean Muegge is another parent who can relate. Her son was in the same situation a few months ago.
"Well, we lucked out. He was sick during Christmas break, so we didn't have to miss any school. Which was fantastic for us," LaJean says.
Gatesville school officials are doing their best to stop the spread of the deadly illness while classes are in session by performing deep cleanings on the schools every night.
The superintendent says a high number of students and staff are absent because of it.
"We had so many kids with the flu last week. They had to cancel basketball games because there wasn't enough kids on teams to make full teams," LaJean says.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, a person can pass on the flu one day before getting symptoms, and five-to-seven days after becoming sick.
Kaitlin is glad she kept all her kids home until they were well.
"It's rampant right now, so I just don't want anybody else to catch it," Kaitlin says.
LaJean will continue looking out for the well-being of her son and daughter. She is encouraging other parents to do the same.
"If you send your kids to school, you're going to infect other kids - which is going to make everybody sick. Nobody wants their kids to be sick. Especially during this time of year," LaJean says.
FOX 44 recently visited a urgent care facility in Harker Heights, where staff were in need of more flu test kits. However, health officials in Waco say they are not experiencing a widespread shortage in this area.
However, you can still be diagnosed with the flu even without a flu kit.
Below is the original text from this story:
Gatesville Independent School District Superintendent Eric Penrod has sent a letter to parents regarding a high number of students and staff members missing school due to the flu outbreak.
Penrod says they are deeply cleaning each campus every day, but the district continues to be caught in a cycle of new cases.
In the letter, he is asking for parents to keep students home if they are experiencing flu or cold symptoms - noting the Centers for Disease Control states the flu can be spread by individuals from one day before symptoms and up to five to seven days after becoming ill.
The letter said he understands doctors are giving various numbers of days before the child should return to school, but asks for parents to consider the following guidelines saying the child should be kept home for treatment and observation if he or she has any of these symptoms:
* With fever greater than 100 degress the child should stay home until at least 48-hours after they no longer have a fever without the aid of medication.
* Vomiting even once
* General malaise ir feelings of fatigue, discomfort, weakness or muscle aches.
* Frequent congested ( wet) or a croup cough
* Lots of nasal congestion with the frequent blowing of the nose.
Penrod says he understands the dilemma of keeping a child home after they seem healthy for a day, but keeping a sick child home will help minimize the spread of infections and viruses in the classroom.
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