JUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – Northwest ISD students have returned to class following the winter break, and school officials fear they have brought their germs with them. But the district is doing everything they can to stop influenza in its tracks.

“Our nurses have been going into classrooms since November talking to students about proper hand washing and the proper way to sneeze,” said the district’s Leslie Weaver.

Each classroom is also equipped with antibacterial gel to encourage students to keep their hands clean. Some middle school students even got in on the action, creating and sharing a video about how to stop the spread of germs.

“The video was kind of a comical, but educational way to share with their classmates good hand washing tips and a proper way to sneeze,” said Weaver. “And that video has been shown to students throughout Northwest ISD.”

Doctors around North Texas have reported an uptick in the number of flu cases seen this season, in addition to a stomach bug that has swept through the metroplex. Dr. Janica Rose-Stine with Cook Children’s says the flu epidemic has started four to six weeks earlier than usual.

The increased awareness surrounding the problem has led to a sudden surge in demand for the flu vaccine, making it difficult to find at some area pharmacies.

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