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Flu Not a Problem for Local School Districts

GRANBY, Mass. (WGGB) — Granby sick pkg 2With all the recent talk of influenza sweeping the nation little attention has been paid to how schools are dealing with sick students.

At West Street School in Granby, nurse Karen Szlosek remains busy but no more so than normal. And that’s also the case for students calling in sick… no more so than normal.

“Throughout the district and the three schools we are seeing some sick kids,” said Szlosek. “Some flu-like symptoms but certainly not any higher activities than in recent year… previous years at this time.))

The Granby school district has about 1,000 students. At the Junior/Senior High School, 28 of them called in sick today. At West Street, 15 are out sick. Nothing out of the ordinary for any time of year much less flu season. So far, the only sickness related problem Granby Schools have had to deal with hasn’t been the flu out all.

“We’re seeing a lot parents who’ll call in and say their children have the stomach virus,” explained Szlosek. “The nausea and vomiting, the diarrhea. But they’ll be back to school in 24 hours.”

Each week, Szlosek receives an update from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. This week’s indicated a clean slate as far as the flu is concerned for most school districts in Western Mass.

“There’s been a few pockets of increase, but no major increase in activities within the schools at this time.”

Szlosek credits flu shots and prevention awareness and also schools taking a proactive approach to fighting the spread of germs.

“I’d like to say it’s our prevention measures,” she said with a smile, “and our hand washing and our education we’ve been doing with the kids.”

Other local school districts including Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee, and Agawam also say there’s been major increase in flu activity in their schools so far this season.

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