Sickness is Spreading Throughout Stonington

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A+quiet+nurse%27s+office%2C+ready+to+host+any+potentially+ill+SHS+students
A quiet nurse's office, ready to host any potentially ill SHS students

A quiet nurse's office, ready to host any potentially ill SHS students

photo by Hope Murney

photo by Hope Murney

A quiet nurse's office, ready to host any potentially ill SHS students

Before spring break, a number of students at SHS contracted an illness that included both influenza and a serious cough. There are some who have tried to put a humorous spin on the issue, giving it the nickname, “the Stonington Plague,” a term that is being commonly used around school.

Faith Leitner, member of Stonington Schools Board of Education and mother of a high school student, recently caught this “plague” after coming in contact with the school environment and is currently, and furiously, trying to recover. Her symptoms have included shortness of breath, coughing, congestion, lack of appetite, nausea, and fatigue.When asked to describe how this sickness has made her feel, Leitner let out a long sigh, and continued with, “It’s really difficult to complete small tasks just because I’m so physically exhausted. It’s pretty tough just getting through the day when all you want is to sleep.”

Besides members of the BOE, students also have been trying to overcome “the plague.” Lately, the nurse’s office has become a popular place, keeping Pamela Schroeder, nurse at SHS, very busy.

“There has been an average of 10-12 people who were sent home with the flu, and they were out for an average of 2-3 days,” reports Schroeder on the absences due to influenza. “A lot of people aren’t on record for having the flu specifically, so there could have been more with the flu. They just haven’t given detail on their illness.”

Though there may have been several students who are truly enduring every aspect of “the plague,” some may have other ailments.

Teachers and other faculty members have their suspicions. Schroeder has reason to believe that although students that call in sick may actually be experiencing some other type of malady, it may not always be the flu that they claim it to be. “Many people that call in sick say that they have the flu, but sometimes that term is thrown around, and people may just have the common cold,” Schroeder suggests.

Despite this possibility, it would still be in the favor of everyone in the school building to practice healthy habits and avoid spreading germs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, there are simple steps that one can take to dodge getting sick; “The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu.” It would be helpful to read the list of ways to prevent flu, provided by the CDC.

Whether or not students are exaggerating their symptoms, it is better to be safe than sorry; do your best to stay healthy. Hopefully, as the colder weather continues to withdraw, it brings “the plague” with it.

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs

1. Avoid close contact.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

2. Stay home when you are sick.

If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.

3. Cover your mouth and nose.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.

4. Clean your hands.

Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

6. Practice other good health habits.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

photo by Hope Murney
Entrance to nurse’s office

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