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Belton ISD to protect students from illness

Belton ISD students that are sent home with a fever can't return back to school until they are fever-free for 24 hours.
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Posted at 7:16 PM, Jan 30, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-30 20:16:06-05

BELTON, Texas — Local schools are urging parents and guardians to keep their children at home if they're sick.

Based on a study conducted by the Bell County Health Department from November to February, illnesses including the flu and pneumonia tend to pick up and drop off during the summer months.

“Especially for this year, we saw a little bit of an uptick of influenza, so we like telling people the vaccine is available to help protect and help reduce the severity of the sickness,“ said Costa Claver, Chief Epidemiologist.

This is the first study conducted by the epidemiologist department by receiving daily hospital reports from surrounding areas and comparing numbers — according to the study in December, the highest amount of flu cases reached to 951.

Those numbers tend to reflect in school districts as absences pick up during November until the beginning of the spring semester.

“We want all of our students in class, but we want them in class healthy," said Marylisa Fanning, Health Director, Belton ISD.

The school is doing what they call a teamwork approach using everyone on campus to help keep it clean, and spot kids who are acting unlike themselves at every grade level.

“We currently are seeing anything from a cough that is so bothersome that kids can’t concentrate in the classroom, to diarrhea, to nasal congestion causing a lot of stomach upset, as well because of the drainage coming from the nasal area,” Fanning said.

When students feel sick parents are notified and they are kept at school isolated in the nurses’ office unless they have a fever, and they can’t return until they are 24 hours free of fever without medications.

“We are teaching our kiddos how to take care of ourselves when they come into the clinic, and how to take care of themselves when they aren’t feeling good," Fanning said.

"That starts with getting good sleep every night and increasing water intake — we are encouraging our students to bring water bottles to school and write their names on them sip on water all day."