Have you heard it, the echo of a cough in the hallway, the sneeze of the person sitting next to you, and the consent sniffling of your friends. Sickness is taking over Andover High School so get your tissues and hand sanitizers out.

There is always a time in the school year when it is more likely that students will get sick. It’s the flu season, which starts in the fall but usually peeks between January and February. At the end of September AHS students started to drop like flies. Classes had more people absent and the majority of the school needed a tissue. Teachers have noticed students are getting sick earlier in the year.

Sophie Draper, senior, attempts to stay healthy with her hand sanitizer and tissues. (Photo by Devon Heavey)
Sophie Draper, senior, attempts to stay healthy with her hand sanitizer and tissues. (Photo by Devon Heavey)

The school nurse, Mrs. Gibson, says that there was an early case of the influenza at the end of September. And during the first week of school there was a case a stomach virus going around.

Ms. Emery, physical education teacher, said, “[It’s the] first time [I’ve] ever seen it in the beginning of the school year; maybe it’s because we came back too early.” She noticed years in the past kids getting sick more towards Christmas time, not some many in the early fall.

Ms. Dunning, art teacher, has noticed kids have been getting sick for long periods of a time and still come to school. Ms. Dunning has always seen kids come to school just to take a test and then go home. She said, “It’s kind of sad that they do have to come into school to take a test when they’re sick.”

Students have taken notice of people getting sick earlier and more often this year, and students have their own theories about why it happens. Kelly Walsh, senior, believes that the school doesn’t do enough to prevent germs. “There used to be those hand sanitizers things but now they don’t fill them anymore,” she said.

On the subject of the empty hand sanitizer, Mrs. Gibson said, “We can’t provide it because of the cost, but we recommend that if you can’t wash your hands that you use your own hand sanitizer.”

Simple things such as hand sanitizers, soap, and drying hands completely prevent germs from spreading.

The school policy with fever is that you have to stay home if you have a fever of 100.5 degree. A student is only allowed to come back to school once the fever has gone down and stayed below 100.5 degree for 24 hours without Tylenol. Mrs. Gibson agrees that it is hard for students to stay home from school.

“I think it’s hard in a high school population because if you miss 82-minute blocks you’re so behind. So we tend to see sick kids coming to school,” she said.

The flu season is just coming is still ahead and it is important to take steps to insure being healthy. Mrs. Gibson advises getting a flu shot, not sharing water or drinks, hand washing, and covering your mouth when you cough.

Students take it upon yourself to make sure you have tissues and hand sanitizer in your bag if the school won’t provide it. Make the effort to stay healthy and when you’re sick just stay home.

By Devon Heavey