Students return to school amidst increasing flu deaths


So far, the flu is being blamed in the deaths of eight people in the San Joaquin Valley. There were three deaths in Kings County, three in Merced County and two in Fresno County.

"I'm pretty conscientious about my daughter or me catching the flu, so we're pretty clean, washing our hands and cleaning her toys and stuff like that," parent Ralph Betancourt said.

Fresno Unified said it is taking steps to keep flu at bay, by reminding students to wash their hands, cover their cough or sneeze and stay home if they are sick.

"It is a major concern because I know some students who have thoughts about immunization and flu shots. That's why at home I do the best I can by keeping the house sterilized, tissue on hand, sanitizer, to avoid any potential illnesses," parent Destiney Moore said.

Flu concerns were on the minds of students at Fresno City College. Thousands of them went back to school for the first day of spring semester. During the fall semester the college gave out more than 500 flu shots and used up its supply. They are hoping those efforts will help keep the flu out of classrooms.

"We see flu year round, however we are referring to other agencies to get their flu shot and protect themselves," Fresno City College Health Services Coordinator Jennifer Brennan said.

Fresno City College student Dayana Rodriguez was one of the first students this semester to stop by the health center. Because of the flu deaths, she wants to get vaccinated.

"I'll feel better because I know I'm protected," Rodriguez said.

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