Salinas parent, Maria Gilando , recalls last year’s flu season. ” He ended up having to stay home for a solid week because he had a strong cough and cold, ” said Gilando .
Gilando pulled her son from his Kindergarten class at Monterey Park School when he caught the bug.
This year, Salinas City Elementary School District is tackling the virus early in the season. Multiple reports of kids catching the flu have the district sending a warning to parents. ” It is occurring more, so we want to be ahead of this and educate people, ” said the district’s nurse, Yen Do-Gorlero .
Kids know to visit Do-Gorlero’s office when they are feeling sick. She keeps any eye out for symptoms like sore throat, body weakness, chills, and a fever over 100 degrees. She said a high fever is often a clear indication of the flu. “We do recommend parents keep their kids at home if they have a fever over 100 degrees. They can rest at home and bring them back to school once they have been fever free for 24 hours, ” said Do-Gorlero .
Dr. Edward Moreno with the Monterey County Health Department said the number one way to protect your child from the flu is through vaccination. “Even if the person who has been vaccinated gets sick with influenza, they will have protection. They’re less likely to develop pneumonia, less likely to be hospitalized, and certainly less likely to die from influenza, ” said Moreno.
Salinas City Elementary School District is taking extra time to sanitize classrooms after school. Janitors wipe down desks and chairs to kill any germs that could spread the virus.
“Kids aren’t the best at hand hygiene. I know it has a lot to do with hand hygiene. Teachers do their best with hand sanitizer, ” said Gilando .
The Monterey County Health Department has partnered with clinics to offer free flu vaccinations. For more information visit, www.co.monterey.ca.us.