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Pittsburg schools take on the flu with mobile healthcare van - KOAM TV 7

Pittsburg schools take on the flu with mobile healthcare van

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While many people are fighting the flu, a local school district is taking preventative measures for their students and staff by providing a service that takes mobile care to a new level.

The Pittsburg School District is providing healthcare on wheels.

"That van rotates to all those schools in the district at least one day a week, or a half day a week," says Pittsburg High School Assistant Principal Rhonda White.  "We're just very fortunate that that grant has provided access to our students and staff to have that kind of healthcare."

The district began offering healthcare services at the Kid Care Health Van at the beginning of the year.  The van is sponsored by the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas.

Nurse practitioner Cheryl Rajotte says since returning from the holiday break the van has been busy.

"This is our first year and so we take care of kids that are sick, faculty, family members," says Rajotte.  "I bet we've seen 40 or more, just since school has been back in session since January."

The health van staff says they see a lot of symptoms of the flu, but a few symptoms to look out for are similar to the common cold.

"We're seeing elevated temperatures, a lot of the times the temperatures are 101 plus, watery eyes, headache - kind of a dull headache, their ears can feel full, they can have a sore throat, they can have a cough, they can have body aches," says Rajotte.  "They just don't feel good."

While the flu season might not be slowing down anytime soon, officials say the best way to prevent yourself from catching the flu, is simply washing your hands.

"We encourage the typical safety measures of frequent hand washing, hand sanitizers in the classroom - we have hand sanitizers in the cafeteria," says Assistant Principal White.

Kevin McNay is a senior at Pittsburg High and his advice to students who may come to school sick is pretty simple.

"You're not doing any good here, you might as well just go home," says McNay.  "It would be best for everybody if you just go home and get some rest."

The Pittsburg school district has seen an increase in absences since the flu began, but officials say they are glad to see students and faculty are taking precautions and not spreading the flu to others.

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