WCSD Officials: So Far, Flu Season "Typical" - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

WCSD Officials: So Far, Flu Season "Typical"

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This has been a particularly bad flu season, and schools are now back in session, which can feel to parents like sending their kids into germ incubators.

According to the Washoe County School District Director of Student Health Services Dana Balchunas, though, this cold and flu season has been about what they expect every year in schools. They've seen some cases of sickness, but they're not raising the alarm just yet.

"We are seeing absences on the part of staff in school as well as students, as well as nurses in our department," Balchunas said. "It's been a steady flow. I wouldn't say it's an uptick that is alarming."

Balchunas said with kids, it's all about driving home the message: wash your hands often, cough and sneeze into your sleeve, and if you're sick, stay home.

"I think it's important we keep reinforcing the message," Balchunas said, "because the more they hear it, the more it will probably internalize."

Even if you're careful, people are often contagious before their symptoms show. So Balchunas said the best line of defense is good hand-washing and a flu shot.

For some parents though, it's still a worry.

"If they are sick, we are keeping them home," WCSD father of two, Ashton Caroll said, "but there is always that possibility that if other parents aren't keeping their kids home, our kids might come home with something too, and then of course we are worried that'll run through the whole family."

Balchunas said it's not too late to get your flu shot. Even though this year's vaccine isn't as effective as some in the past, it will still reduce the chances of getting sick, and if you do get the flu, it'll likely be less severe and go away faster.

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