Lubbock ISD preps for aggressive flu season

Lubbock ISD preps for aggressive flu season

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

The holidays may be over but flu season is in full swing. The CDC said it is the strongest since 2009 and 46 states report widespread influenza activity.

Infectious disease specialist, Lawrence Martinelli said the primary strain of flu this year is aggressive. 

"It's making people even sicker than the average strain of flu." Martinelli said. "Which makes you pretty sick."

He said it may be harder to avoid catching it.

"The problem that we've run into this year is that we have a vaccine that's only about a third effective." Martinelli said. "So it's protecting about one out of three people which is about half of the usual level." 

But, he still said everyone should get vaccinated. 

"Even though you might not be completely protected from the flu, you end up with some protection." Martinelli said "You may not get as ill or stay as ill for long."

If at all possible, Martinelli said to stay at home until you are 24 hours fever-free.

"Now you end up exposing a whole bunch of people who might otherwise not been exposed at all and it increases our potential to have an even bigger outbreak," Martinelli said.

Lubbock ISD Communications Director Nancy Sharp said they have been preparing year round.

"At least twice a year, the school nurses go into the classroom and talk to kids about washing their hands." Sharp said."To show them how to wash their hands and reiterate time and time again, that that's the most important thing you can do to help prevent the spread of illness." 

One of the most effective techniques is germ blast. It is a germ-killing fog that is sprayed in each classroom.

"It's prickly." Sharp said "So when a virus, a bacteria, a cell lands on that surface at that very microscopic level, it punctures that cell membrane and keeps that virus or bacteria from spreading and growing." 

On top of that, Sharp said over the break, all of the buildings have been deep-cleaned.

We're going to do everything we can to keep the environments cleaned, and help students know the things that they can do to keep themselves well so they can be in school." Sharp said. "We ask parents to be our partners in that, and certainly when a child is sick, we want them to stay home so we don't spread any disease." 

Visit Lubbock ISD's website for additional tips on how to prevent your child from getting sick. 
 

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