KELLER (CBS 11 NEWS) – Kindergartners at Independence Elementary School in the Keller Independent School District are learning a valuable lesson.
Their special education comes as North Texas braces for Enterovirus 68. The rare respiratory virus mimics a summer cold and has already hit hard in a dozen states.
Nurse Jessica Kindiger made the rounds Tuesday morning and talked to students. “As a mother and nurse it does concern me,” she said.
Nurse Kindiger uses glitter to show the young students how quickly germs spread. While she puts on the educational show for the young children, she’s also on the look out for Enterovirus symptoms.
Kindiger says the one symptom that should raise a red flag is wheezing. “Listening to their lungs and making sure if there is wheezing that we will be contacting the parents and just keeping an extra eye on those kids.”
Teachers are also showing young students how to properly wash their hands and cover their coughs.
Second-grader Christon Patrick also realizes the importance of washing up. He said he’ll, “Make sure that I don’t touch any germs.”
The Keller ISD is treating the respiratory illness like they are in the middle of peak flu-season. Extra cleaning crews have been called in to disinfect every classroom, every day.
“We disinfect all the desks, table tops, touch points like light switches and door knobs,” explained Keller ISD Operations Supervisor Jerry Leafgreen. “We do the whole thing.”
Parents have noticed the extra efforts and are grateful.
“I think it’s great that they are starting to be proactive about the now,” says mom Laila Patrick. “I just reinforce what the school is teaching the kids and do that at home too.”
North Texas doctors say it’s just a matter of time before the virus shows up here. They also fear the virus could quickly spread with students back at school.
Symptoms of Enterovirus 68 include runny nose, coughing, and difficulty breathing. There is no vaccine or specific treatment for the virus.
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