ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KLFY)- The flu season is starting early, and it’s already forced one Acadiana school to hit the reset button.
Leonville Elementary dismissed students early today, so the entire campus could be cleaned.
According to the school’s principal, the school will be open tomorrow. That’s because the staff and St. Landry parish inmates spent the afternoon disinfecting the campus.
“The flu is very contagious. It is one of the reasons every year we see outbreaks,” said Dr. Tina Stefanski, regional medical director of Office of Public Health for Acadiana.
Leonville Elementary’s campus closed at 1 p.m. Tuesday,
About 13 percent of the school population already sick with the virus, the principal said.
“Every year is different, but i will say so far this year we are seeing cases earlier,” Stefanski said.
The school is working closely with the Louisiana Office of Public Health for Acadiana to monitor flu conditions.
Dr. Stefanski says eliminating the flu on surfaces is an easy way to prevent spreading.
“If you’re in a school or in a home, routine cleaning and disinfecting is really all you need to do to kill the virus,” she said.
St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz said his department stepped in to help after hearing about the high volume of flu cases Monday.
“When we heard about it, I contacted the principal and ask what can I do to help?” Guidroz said.
The department brought supplies and an inmate crew to help disinfect after children left.
“They’re helping with the teachers. They’re well supervised. These are not sex offenders. These are not any other kind of danger to the children. these are workers,” the sheriff noted.
- Cleanup lasted about four hours, but preventative measures will continue far longer.
- To prevent the flu from spreading further, the school is doing the following:
- Extending the time sick students or staff stay home to at least five days.
- Allowing high risk students and staff to stay home and
- Screening students and staff when they arrive at school. anyone with at least two flu symptoms will be sent home.
“Be on the lookout. The typical course of the flu is you feel bad for a couple of days, and then you start to get better,” Stefanski said. “If it’s anything else than that typical course, you need to call your doctor or seek medical attention immediately.”