Indian River County School District to share information about Zika virus as kids head back to class

Handouts about Zika are being added to this year's reading material in Indian River County.

Information sheets, being offered in both English and Spanish, will be sent home in every student's backpack. The handouts were written by the Florida Department of Health.

MAP: Tracking Zika cases in Florida | Special Section: Zika in Florida

"At this point it's just sharing and providing information," said Indian River County School District spokesman Flynn Fidgeon.

Signs and posters with information about the virus are also being placed at every school in the district.

Fidget says over the summer, the local health department held a special training session with all of the county's school nurses, to help better prepare them for potential Zika cases.

"During the training, the nurses were trained and made aware of what the symptoms were like," Fidgeon said. "So if there were a case in this area, our school district has a very good relationship with the local county health department, and they would step in and have a big role in further trying to identify."

For now, however, Fidgeon says parents play the biggest role. They're asked to use the handouts their kids bring home to start a conversation.

"Hopefully this topic is kind of prevalent enough that parents get it, will take a look at it, read it over, appreciate it and use it to inform their students about the issue," he said.

So far in Indian River County, school officials are just passing out information. The district isn't making any changes to recess schedules or providing bug spray at this point. However, school officials say that could change if any cases pop up locally. They say they plan to take direction from the health department.

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