Central Indiana schools take flu prevention measures

Brenna Young and her classmates are learning some important lessons about flu prevention.

Health experts have said this flu season is severe, and now they have numbers to back it up.

According to the Marion County Health Department, 225 people went to the emergency room for flu-like illnesses last week. That compares with the 104 people who visited the emergency room for the flu during the same week last year.

Those numbers could change now that most schools are back in session, and we spoke with one school that's taking preventive measures to keep children healthy.

Not a single student has been sickened by the flu at the IPS Center for Inquiry, and the principal and teachers intend to keep it that way. They've turned lovable youngsters into germ killers.

"After you sneeze, you don't, like, touch your eyes, your nose, your mouth, all over your face," explained Jeremiah Clark, third grader.

Kids are told to cover their coughs, sanitize their hands before lunch, wash up frequently, and when possible, give each other some space.

"Be careful not to get too close contact because that's how it spreads," said Brenna Young, third grader.

The number of new flu cases in Marion County, already much higher than a typical year, leveled off last week. But with children now back in school, doctors and parents worry the virus will spread.

When a lot of parents see their children heading to crowed halls and classrooms, they don't see a school. They see a giant petri dish.

Chris Tower has a first grader.

"You think, 'I hope it's not my kid next,' for sure," he said.

The principal requires parents to keep sick children at home. When someone gets sick at school, Principal Andrea Hunley explained, "The kids go home. We are strict about that. We have all the students, 350, to watch out for."

And are students really watching out for themselves?

We asked Kyrell Allison, a third grader, if he was really washing his hands and sneezing into his elbow. He answered in the affirmative.

Flu info from the CDC

Flu prevention