School nurse provides flu update

Mourouzis requests specific absence information

Tissues+and+hand+sanitizer+are+available+in+every+classroom.+

Tissues and hand sanitizer are available in every classroom.

Anna Pohl, Reporter

As the flu season now coincides with February, typically its peak month, students and parents alike worry about the spread of this contagious virus, especially when students spend the majority of their time in a school with more than 1,000 students.

School nurse Mrs. Susan Mourouzis said this year is worse as far as students missing school for diagnosed influenza. However, there is some benefit to this, she said. “Doctors are understanding that testing for flu helps us to control the flu,” she said. The more patients diagnosed with the flu, the more who can receive proper treatment and begin recovery.

“It’s great when parents call in and give the reason why their child is ill,” Mourouzis said. This allows the school to understand which illnesses are most prevalent at any given time.

Using this information, Mourouzis categorized the reasons students stayed home on Jan. 30. Of 46 total absentees, 14 reported the flu, 10 did not offer a reason and three called in only as “sick.” Five students reported a stomach virus, which, though contagious, is not to be confused with the flu. The remaining students reported circumstances such as migraines, cold symptoms, surgery or non contagious illnesses.

According to the Indiana State Department of Health, no Hoosier schools have closed due to an influenza epidemic.

“We might consider closing school when our absentee rate is 20 percent,” Mourouzis said. “We are at 4 percent.”