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Davenport school nurses credit prevention and awareness for fighting flu bug

DAVENPORT -

It's a typical Wednesday in Janice Telsrow's office, which means there's nothing typical about it.

The school nurse at Wilson Elementary School sees up to 100 young patients each day.  They come with playground scrapes while others take medication.  But so far, it's an average flu season.

"Upper respiratory stuff that actually is the true influenza with high fever, coughing, stuffy head and such, that I haven't seen a lot of," she said on Wednesday, January 24.

The school, with 487 students, is recording between 10-20 absences each day.

It seems that better prevention and parental awareness are contributing to good health.  Genesis Health System also offers a flu shot clinic at the school.

"We encourage you to keep your child home if they are ill," said Gina Ekstrom, head nurse for Davenport Community Schools.

"Our goal is to keep children at their optimum health, so they can participate fully in school and their education," she said.

The nurses add that Davenport teachers are mostly staying healthy.  While some districts are short, there are plenty of substitutes to go around at this time.

Back in Telsrow's office, the parade of patients continues, along with the care.

It's a role that's constantly evolving, and the school nurse is ready to respond.

"Seeing these happy, healthy kids, that's what we want," she concluded.  "You have to be healthy to learn, and you can't learn if you're not healthy."