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Increase in absences at Austin ISD because of illnesses

As flu and cold season hits the district's schools, officials are taking measures to keep students healthy.

AUSTIN, Texas — As the flu and cold season gets underway, officials with the Austin Independent School District said they are increasing sanitary measures in response to a higher-than-normal number of absences.

The district's comprehensive health and mental health director, Tracy Spinner, sent a letter to parents this week, informing them that they initiated their disinfecting protocols with their custodial team to take extra precautions in all areas of the school.

Spinner also encouraged parents to remind their children about proper hygiene to help prevent the spread of germs:

  • Hand-washing with soap and water
  • Covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing 
  • Avoiding contact with people who are sick 

Symptoms to look out for included vomiting or a fever of 100 degrees or higher. 

Until symptoms are gone for 24 hours, without fever-reducing medication, parents should keep their child at home, Spinner added.


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"This is a very important practice to prevent any sick child from passing their illness on to others," Spinner said. 

In September, doctors told KVUE the flu season started early this year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccination, with rare exceptions.

WATCH: This year's flu season is expected to be bad. Here's what you should do


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