Strong Flu Season Causes Some to Take More Precaution - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Strong Flu Season Causes Some to Take More Precaution

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The Carson City School District and REMSA are two organizations that are taking notice to the growing number of flu cases in Northern Nevada.

Students in CCSD returned to school this week, and Public Information Officer for CCSD, Dan Davis, says he knows of students and staff who were sick over the break.

Davis says they haven't noticed more kids missing from school yet, but that hasn't stopped them with being more vigilant with their cleaning.

"It's been a heavier flu season this year so we are taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety and health of our students," Davis says.

Their focus is wiping down anything kids could touch like door handles or water fountains, but Davis stresses they can't do it alone. He says parents need to keep kids at home from school if they have any flu-like symptoms. Children with symptoms need rest, and a school is one of the easiest places to catch an illness.

"When you get a bunch of students and children together there's a lot of touching," Davis says. "There's a lot of hugging, there's a lot of sharing of germs."

Davis says if more kids start to miss school, they'll consider deep cleaning the school or even school buses.

REMSA has added a new protocol for EMT's responding to calls where people are exhibiting flu-like symptoms. If the person calling 9-1-1 does have any flu-like symptoms, then first responders must put on gloves, glasses, a mask, and a gown. REMSA says they've seen a 15 percent increase in Respiratory-related calls since last year, and they want to protect their employees considering how strong this flu season has been.

"It's necessary to protect our responders to make sure that they remain healthy and available for the community," Adam Heinz, Director of Communications for REMSA, says. "In addition, it prevents cross-contamination of patients that they may see further in the day."

REMSA says in the last week they've used the protocol about 50 times. After each call, the garments are disposed of in a bio-garbage bag, and the bed in wiped down if it's used. REMSA says response times have not changed since the protocol was implemented, and they'll continue the protocol as long as the flu is an issue. Heinz says the best thing to do is to see your doctor when you get flu-like symptoms, so those symptoms don't become too severe.

"If you do that early enough," Heinz says, "They can potentially prescribe you anti-virals for patients who are positive, and minimize some of the symptoms and the duration of the influenza."

Carson City Health and Human Services says that flu season goes into May, so these precautionary measures may be in place for some time.

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