School returns on Thursday, and so does the flu - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

School returns on Thursday, and so does the flu

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - On Thursday most students will be entering back into their classrooms after weeks of visiting with family and friends at all kinds of different places and it's those interactions which enhances the chance of the flu being spread.

Alice Dunn is a nurse at Socastee High School, she's been tending to children's health needs for more than 30 years in the Horry County School District. She says based on her experience they do see an increase in the flu during January and February.

"Once they've (students) been away on trips and they've been in confided areas you spread the germs more readily. So when they are visiting other states and out of the country they're bringing those germs as well and so we need to be more mindful of that," said Dunn

Dunn said at the high school level before the holiday she had an increase of students with flu-like symptoms coming to see her.

She suggests parents, before the start of the new semester, check out their child for any flu- like symptoms such as dry cough, sore throat, headache, or body aches.

"Don't send them to school sick, if they've got a fever keep them home they should be without a fever for 24 hours to come back to school," said Dunn.

Hand washing is encouraged in schools throughout Horry County to keep germs at bay.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control estimates 10 percent of South Carolina's population will get the flu this season, that's 400,000 people catching the flu bug.

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