MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — Flu cases are up all around Martin County, including in Martin County schools.
Thursday, the Martin County School District sent out a call to parents asking them to keep their children home from school if they start showing flu-like symptoms and to contact their doctor.
Officials with the Martin County Health Department say the number of cases is up from last year, though could not say exactly how many cases are confirmed in the area.
Friday is the last day of school for students before their holiday break. Health officials hope students being out of school will help stop the spread of the flu through schools.
Nicole Ferguson’s son, who attends Murray Middle School, just found out Thursday he has the flu.
“Around 2 o' clock this morning, he woke up, went to the bathroom. He was coughing, no fever, that’s pretty much it. I just thought it was a stomach ache,” Ferguson said.
Later that morning, she got a call from the school nurse. She ultimately decided to pick him up from school.
“I picked him up and he was just flushed. His color was gone. He was just not with it. That’s when I knew I needed to call the doctor.”
His doctor confirmed Ferguson’s son had the flu. He wasn’t alone. “When I was checking out there was another student from Anderson Middle School confirmed with the Flu A.”
The Health Department of Martin County said they notified the school district Wednesday about the rise in local cases, and also on Wednesday asked the school to send out a call to parents.
Wednesday, the school district did update its website with Flu prevention information.
The district called students’ homes Thursday after the school day.
“Notify the parents sooner, because I think it would help stop the spread,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson hopes her son didn’t make anyone else sick while he was at school.
“I think if that call would have gone out, I probably wouldn’t have sent him.”
Ferguson has one piece of advice for parents.
“At the smallest amount of symptoms, call your doctor.”
According to the Health Department of Martin County:
The flu vaccine is readily available throughout Martin County including private doctor offices, pharmacies and grocery stores. The Florida Department of Health in Martin County offers free
flu shots for uninsured or underinsured adults and children.
To schedule an appointment, call 772-221-4000 ext. 2242.
• Get a flu shot
• Wash your hands often
• Exercise and eat nutritious foods
• Stay home when you are sick
• Cover your cough and sneeze
The health department has also notified the Centers for Disease Control.