DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - According to school nurse Cathy Franklin, there's been a steady flow of students trickling into her office at the DeKalb Academy of Technology and Environment for more than a week.
“Scratchy throat, upset stomach, runny nose, I've seen it all,” Nurse Franklin said Wednesday morning. “I keep asking every one of them, 'Did you get your flu shot?'”
Nurse Franklin told FOX 5's Portia Bruner she calls parents immediately after she detects students have symptoms of Georgia's flu virus.
“I have to get these kids out of here so they can get the care of it they really need and so that the other children won't become sick,” nurse Franklin said.
DeKalb Academy registrar Sonya Armstrong said the charter school can't take any chances. That's why they're no longer letting students return to class to see if they feel better later since odds are, they won't.
“We have to be proactive because we want to be concerned with the whole school and the whole student body,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong said the school staff is doing their part to keep the campus thoroughly sanitized, ensuring wipes and hand sanitizer are in ample supply. But she said ultimately parents are the first line of defense for protecting students.
“If your baby threw up before school, that means you need to stay home. If you felt a fever, that means they have to stay home because at that point, they are in the front line of carrying this flu virus and spreading this flu virus to other children and teachers. That's not good for them and it's not good for the school,” Armstrong said.
“We all have to do our part and be proactive. And even if it feels like it's going to be a comfortable day, parents need to make sure they're sending their kids to school with hats, gloves, scarves and stockings for the girls. Your babies need to come to school on a good breakfast and with some vitamins in their system so that their bodies are fortified and ready for this flu season,” Armstrong said.