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Nearly 1/3 of Trenton Pre-K Students Out Sick

TRENTON, Tenn. -- Nearly one-third of children in the pre-K program were reported absent Friday due to a recent outbreak of illness in the Trenton Special School District, according to the director, Sandra Harper.

"The physical contact has been part of the problem," Harper said about the outbreak.

The school district began seeing cases of sickness in their pre-K, 4 and 5-year old programs last week, according to Harper. The outbreak started with a few cases then slowly increased. As a result of the illnesses, the Department of Public Health has been working closely with school officials.

"Frequent hand washing is what we were advised by the department of public health," Harper said.

Parents were notified by letter of the increased sickness and the janitorial staff has been working to sanitize areas where the children have frequented.

"We usually have 24 kids, and today we only have 14," one 4th grade student, Nathan Henry said.

Harper also confirmed at least one case of shigella was reported, an infection that affects the intestinal track and is closely related to salmonella.

School officials reported that some parents said they would keep their children at home in an effort to keep the illnesses from spreading further. With the upcoming fall break scheduled next week, Harper said they hope to get the upper hand in combating the sickness.

"They have a chemical they sent me documentation on," claimed Harper. "They put that chemical in the school on desks, doors, and entrances."

Harper adds that the school system is doing all it can to reduce the amount of illnesses and is having parents encourage their kids to practice safe hygiene at home and to keep infected children at home for 24 hours or until the symptoms pass.
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