Hermleigh ISD closes due to flu outbreak

A second Big Country school district is fighting against the flu.

Hermleigh ISD closed their doors Thursday and Friday due to an outbreak of various illnesses. Superintendent Brett Dawson said it was the flu that was spreading the most.

"We were dealing with flu, but also strep throat and also a stomach virus that hit. But as the days went by, it seemed the flu was the one that was spreading," said Dawson.

Thursday, the school was fogged with disinfectant and today, the faculty wiped down the surfaces of tables, chairs and railings to ensure there is no lingering trace of illness.

"50 was kind of the magic number when we got over that, it pretty much sealed the deal to close down for a couple of days to not only clean, but to allow our students to get well," Dawson said.

When Dawson noticed that 22 percent of his 250 students were absent, he knew that he needed to take action.

"It seemed like more kids were getting sick, we were sending more home and it was just time to close the doors and keep our students safe," Dawson said.

KTXS spoke with infection preventionist Beth Lantrip, who has some advice about other ways students can stay healthy.

"Get those wipes that we all have and love and be sure that you are continually cleaning those high touch surface areas in your home like doorknobs, your phone, your cellphone," said Lantrip.

She tells us there is still one thing that prevents the flu the most.

"It's not too late to get your flu shot, still the best defense," Lantrip said.

Dawson encourages parents to allow their children to stay home from school if they are showing any signs of illness.

"If they are running any sort of fever, they need to stay home, but also if they have any sort of flu-like symptoms, tummy ache, headaches, coughing, they just need to stay home right now," Dawson said.

While the schools are getting back to normal, Dawson has made arrangements for all weekend activities to be held at other schools.

Hermleigh ISD will reopen on Monday.

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