Germs are winning: Excessive absences plague KHS

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Germs are winning: Excessive absences plague KHS

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Students and staff have been coughing up some absences the past few weeks.

When walking through the halls of KHS and sitting in classrooms, you hear sniffles, coughs, and “ewwws.”

Being in a school setting, students and staff are around hundreds of people a day, coming in contact with millions of germs that cause illness.

Multiple school distrits in the region, including Kalamazoo, Merrill, and Mt. Morris, have been battling an extensive amount of absences due to illness.

I would guess that 85 percent of the excused absences are due to the illnesses that are going around right now.”

— Mrs. Angie Ayre, attendance secretrary

Mrs. Angie Ayre, attendance secretary, said many students and some of the staff have missed school recently due to the ongoing spread of illness.

“I would guess that 85 percent of the excused absences are due to the illnesses that are going around right now,” Ayre said.

On average, the percentage of students who have excused absences due to illness is around 65 percent.

Ayre said, “Absences have been higher than normal due to sickness.”

Many people are feeling the impact of illness and don’t really know why. Mrs. Amy Graham, health teacher, connects the increase of sick students and teachers to the winter conditions.

“It is winter, so more people stay inside in a confined space around the germs of other people,” Graham said.

An illness may involve a high fever, coughing, runny nose, sore throat, headache, muscle pain, and tiredness, according to Graham.

Senior Ryan Thomas happened to get sick twice and missed eight days overall.

Thomas said his symptoms included “vomiting, stomachaches, headaches, dizziness, sleepiness, (and) nausea.”

Going to school while sick is never a good idea because you can cause others to become ill as well.

Thomas said, ” I feel like I definitely got sick from someone at school. That was the first time, though. The second time I got sick it was because I was cleaning up vomit at work.”

Thomas, who works at a movie theater, had to clean up after a patron got sick in the theater.

Keeping up with this work has been difficult for Thomas, but he said his teachers have been understanding and helpful.

“My grades have suffered quite a bit this semester,” he said. “I’m already far behind and we are only four weeks into this marking period. Luckily, my teachers have been understanding of it. They’ve all helped me out a lot.”

Being sick is definitely not a pleasurable occurrence, but Graham said there are plenty of things you can do to help prevent yourself from getting sick.

Drink fluids, sleep, eat healthy. Depending on what you have, you may want to get to the doctor”

— Mrs. Amy Graham, health teacher

Graham said people should “get an appropriate amount of sleep, eat healthy, even supplement with some Vitamin C, wash your hands, (and) try not to touch your face — eyes, nose, mouth.”

For those who are sick, Graham advises to try to stay as healthy as possible.

“Drink fluids, sleep, eat healthy. Depending on what you have, you may want to get to the doctor,” Graham said. “What you have might be something an antibiotic can help with.”

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