Schools work to prevent flu outbreak in buildings

Schools work to prevent the spread of the flu in their buildings.

Forty-one states are reporting wide-spread flu activity in this country, including in Michigan. The elderly and the very young are the most susceptible.

Schools across the state are taking steps to teach children more than just reading, writing and arithmetic, but also about how to protect themselves during this severe flu season.

Friendly reminders to 'cover your cough' are all over the walls of Flushing schools.

"We've sent out emails to teachers to remind their kids to wash their hands, we put up the posters to remind them to cover their coughs," Flushing District Nurse Diane Dryer said.

This flu season is one of the worst in awhile in the U.S., but it's not gotten too bad in our area.

Traci Koch and Diane Dryer, Flushings' district's nurses, want to keep it that way.

"Often times, with high numbers of students, especially small students in one area, them touching objects, it's definitely a breeding ground for illness," Koch said of school buildings.

Which is why the Flushing School District put an alert on their Web site for parents, with link to the Centers for Disease Control's Web site.

"If your child has a fever, don't send them to school," Koch said.

It's all about Clorox and Lysol at Lady Di's day care in Clio.

"We're making sure we wipe down everything, the chairs, the high chairs, the sippy cups," employee Dina Chisar said. "We are also labeling kids' belongings so they don't share."

All of these precautions are in place, she said, to make sure the littlest hands don't spread this virus.

"With the bug going around, I know it's serious," Chisar said.

Michigan parents are of course on edge.

"It makes you scared," Heidi Dodge, a mother of one-year-old Miley, said. "You use all the wipes and everything you can to prevent it.

It's all you can do, but those 'in the know' say it can make a difference.

Flushing's assistant superintendent told NBC25 Thursday about 100 kids called in sick to Flushing high school Wednesday; there were about 20 elementary school kids out.

That only equals about 10 percent of the Flushing population. She said if the numbers rise to the 70 percent range, that's when schools consider closing.