Student Illness on the Rise in Montgomery County

Southmont Schools are not immune from what is an increasing percentage of students falling ill this season.  In particular, we are seeing an increase in the number of gastroenteritis cases.  While sometimes called the stomach flu, gastroenteritis (or GI) isn't the same as influenza.  Real flu (influenza) affects only your respiratory system (nose, throat and lungs).  GI, on the other hand, attacks your intestines, causing signs and symptoms such as:

  • Abdominal cramps and pain
  • Nausea, vomiting or both
  • Occasional muscle aches or headaches
  • Low-grade fever
  • Watery, usually non-bloody diarrhea (the presence of blood may suggest a different, more severe infection.

More information on GI can be found at:

The best way to prevent the spread of intestinal infections is to follow these precautions:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly.  And make sure your children do, too. If your children are older, teach them to wash their hands, especially after using the toilet. It's best to use warm water and soap and to rub hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds, remembering to wash around cuticles, beneath fingernails and in the creases of the hands. Then rinse thoroughly. Carry towelettes and hand sanitizer for times when soap and water aren't available.
  • Use separate personal items around your home.  Avoid sharing eating utensils, glasses and plates. Use separate towels in the bathroom.
  • Keep your distance.  Avoid close contact with anyone who has the virus, if possible.
  • Disinfect hard surfaces.  If someone in your home has viral gastroenteritis, disinfect hard surfaces, such as counters, faucets and doorknobs, with a mixture of two cups of bleach to one gallon of water.
  • Check out your child care center.  Make sure the center has separate rooms for changing diapers and preparing or serving food. The room with the diaper-changing table should have a sink as well as a sanitary way to dispose of diapers.

Local Health Officials are recommending that students remain home for 48 hours after the last symptom of diarrhea, vomiting and/or temperature of 100.3.  For more information, please contact your local medical practitioner or school nurse.