Domingo, 18/8/2019 | : : UTC-4
The Reflection

Sickness hits the Richland Elementary

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With March here and spring just around the corner, many people in the Gull Lake area are looking forward to seeing an end to this year’s bout of sickness. Recently, Gull Lake’s Richland Elementary has been swamped in illnesses, from the mostly harmless Fifth’s disease to the dreaded norovirus. These illnesses have circulated the school since the beginning of January and have caused many students and teachers to call in sick. This has been especially bad in the Kindergarten classrooms and the reading and math support rooms due to low immune systems and lots of children moving around.

Many of these diseases are highly contagious, so now is not the time to slack off on disinfecting surfaces.

The least detectable of these illness is fFifth’s disease. Fifth’s disease is categorized by a rash on the torso and arms of a child ages five to 15 and is preceded by cold like symptoms, such as a low grade fever and fatigue. Unfortunately, this disease is only contagious during its incubation period, or before a rash shows up. After the rash appears, the child is no longer contagious and does not need to remain at home unless there is another illness present.

Another one of the illnesses that is common right now it strep throat. Strep throat is often categorized by an infection in the throat accompanied by a fever and difficulty swallowing. Strep throat can be mistaken as the flu, but if you suspect that you or your child have it, it is best to contact a professional. If strep throat is contracted, the child will remain contagious up to 24 hours after medication has been started and only if that medicine has managed to successfully stay in their systems.

The most recognizable of these diseases is the norovirus. Norovirus comes on suddenly, often only hours after exposure and is very aggressive. This illness is highly infectious and a person can remain contagious up to 48 hours after their initial symptoms vanish. This one is very recognizable and is categorized by nausea, vomiting, high fever and fatigue. There is unfortunately no medication for this illness as it is a virus, which is untreatable by antibiotics.

Regulations for sending a child home sick have also been changed. These regulations now call for a higher temperature and multiple cases of vomiting before the office will require a child be sent home.

“In regards to the vomiting, they were finding that younger students especially would say they ‘threw up,’ but perhaps they ate too quickly and if was a bit of reflux, or they were coughing and spit something out, that’s why they changed it to two episodes of vomiting,” school nurse Megan Asper said. 

“I think the new regulations are attempting to keep kids in school if they can, but also allowing for best judgement,” Asper said. “Again, the staff will use their judgement, and if a student is visibly ill they will call home.”


I am a senior who is involved in various theater companies and participates in Marching Band. I hope to go into Marine Biology and research the habits of sawfish.


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