El Paso school districts work to keep students healthy during flu outbreak

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Local districts are doing what they can to keep students from getting sick while in school.

So far in El Paso, eight people have died after contracting the flu and there have been more than 3,300 reported flu cases, which is eight times higher than this time last year, health officials said.

In New Mexico, health officials say there have been 28 flu-related deaths and 100 pneumonia deaths this season.

The independent school districts of El Paso, Ysleta and Socorro said communication between school officials and parents is important when it comes to keeping students home when they’re sick.

District officials say this week, there has been a decline in absences due to illness.

Ysleta Independent School District has links on its website to flu prevention tips.

Schools are working with custodial staff to make sure the campuses are clean.

Jose Bustillos, a nurse at Bel Air High School, said a day of absence is much better than spreading sickness.

“Stay home if you’re sick, because if you make it to work or school, you can spread the virus. Best thing to do is to stay and get vaccinated,” Bustillos said.

Gary William, a parent, is aware that the flu epidemic has already caused deaths nationwide and is glad the districts are trying to help.

“Especially with what is happening this year, they’re really getting involved because it’s pretty bad,” Williams said.

An informational session about the flu will be held for parents at Bel Air High School on Feb. 20.

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