Schools taking measures against flu

Ponca City Now - January 9, 2015 7:31 am

The Ponca City Public School district nurses have been busy teaching students the best procedures for preventing the spread of germs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting flu to be widespread in all but four states in the U.S., including Oklahoma. According to, early data indicates the 2014-15 flu season could be severe. A look at the influenza statistics show that is has spread more rapidly across the country than last year.

Ponca City School nurse Doris Swaim said, “The flu season has definitely arrived within our district. We recommend families protect themselves against seasonal flu by getting vaccinated and taking everyday precautions.”

One of the very best things students can do to prevent illness is washing their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub, Swaim said.

“ We have been working with younger students demonstrating proper hand-washing procedures and to cover their nose and mouth when they cough or sneeze. We also recommend practicing good health habits including getting plenty of sleep and exercise, managing stress, drinking plenty of fluids and eating healthy foods,” she said.

School officials report that the district has been vigilant about doing everything it can to keep students and staff safe from the flu and other viruses. This includes cleaning and sanitizing all surfaces.

“ We are continuing to monitor absences and work closely with our local and state health officials to take necessary steps to reduce the spread of flu in the district,” Swaim said.

“ Current guidelines require all sick students to stay home from school until they have been fever free for 24 hours without the use of medication,” she said. “We can’t stress enough how critical this is to reduce the number of people who may get infected.”

She said district custodians are working extra hard to clean and disinfect classrooms, and bus drivers are disinfecting bus seats after every route.

“ Hand sanitizers have been placed in every classroom, and students are constantly reminded to use it several times a day,” she said. “We want to stress to parents the importance of not sending their children to school when they are sick. We expect the same thing with our staff members.”

The district continues to post the latest flu information on TV Channel 19;, and the district’s Facebook page.

The health and well-being of our students and staff are always our top priority,” Swaim said. “We will do our best to remain proactive and keep our students, parents, employees and patrons informed as we get new information.”

To help determine the difference between a cold and the flu, visit ;, or

For more information, contact the Ponca City School nurses at 580-767-8000 or the Kay County Health Department at 580-762-1641.


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