WCSD Offers Tips on Reducing Spread of Flu in Students - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

WCSD Offers Tips on Reducing Spread of Flu in Students

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Students in the Washoe County School District return from winter break Monday just in time for the peak flu season.

The district is asking parents to help reduce the spread of the flu, by reminding your child to cover a cough or a sneeze.

Also, to wash their hands, especially after using the bathroom - and before eating. And ask them not to share food and drinks with friends.

"We assume that schools are a place where anything can be communicable and that kids are at a certain level of risk. So, this is an ongoing message that goes out to kids and parents," says Dana Balchunas, WCSD Director of Student Health Services.

Robert Mitchell Elementary School Principal Meredith Johnson adds, "Some of them have been home for several weeks and they catch all sorts of germs from a variety of different ways at home. And we want to be sure the germs don't come back into our school."

Parents are being asked to keep their kids home if they are feeling sick or showing signs of the flu. "They come with runny noses and with terrible coughs and colds and they sit in close proximity to each other and the germs spread quickly."

Johnson says that once a child's fever breaks or they feel better they should still stay home for 24 hours. Especially, since many haven't had their flu shots. "For some medical reasons, not all kids can be vaccinated. So, we have to protect those kids who can't get vaccinations as well as those who may have contact with elderly or susceptible people," says Balchunas.

Flu shots are going to be made available at a special event on Tuesday. Immunize Nevada will hold a flu shot clinic from 4pm-7pm at the Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows at 2680 East Ninth Street in Reno. They are asking for a $20 donation, but say no one will be turned away for inability to pay.

They will also hold flu clinics at some elementary schools in the coming weeks. To find out a schedule, it's best that you call your child's school.

For more on where you can get a flu shot, click here.

Saint Mary's Health Plans' Immunization Clinic has plenty of flu shots available. Annual flu shots are recommended for anyone six months of age or older, with rare exceptions. The SMHP flu shots are free for members of Saint Mary's HealthFirst (HMO), Saint Mary's Health Choice (PPO), Medicare Part B (if primary insurance) and Senior Dimensions. The shots cost $28 for all others.
Call 775.770.7100 to make an appointment at Saint Mary's Health Plans' Immunization Clinic (1625 E. Prater Way, Suite 102, Sparks, NV 89434)

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