FREEPORT (WREX) -
As the week winds down before the holidays, some students in the Freeport School District had their weeks end earlier than expected. That's because the flu bug has hit the area.
13 News has learned, as of December 10th, 3.34% of students -- per day -- in the district were absent, many due to the flu. According to Dr. Beth Summers, principal of Freeport High School and parent of a first grader who is out with the flu, the high school has not seen that many cases, but the elementary school went through a flu spike. Summers believes the elementary school may have close to 20% of the students out sick. A district spokesperson says new numbers are expected tomorrow for this past week, but says the number of cases are falling.
The high school is in the middle of finals, and students that are sick with the flu can make the tests up when school returns after Christmas break.
The district sent a letter to parents and guardians about the increase in flu cases surrounding students this week, and what to do if their child is showing symptoms. Here is what it says:
December 11, 2014
Dear Parent or Guardian:
In the past week, the community and local schools have seen an increase of influenza, and influenza like illness. The Illinois Department of Public Health has now increased the influenza activity to widespread for our area. I would like to take this time to remind you that if your child shows signs and symptoms of influenza, please use caution in sending your child to school. (i.e, keep the child home). The CDC recommends that any person with influenza-like illness remains home for at least 24 hours after they are free of fever without the use of fever-reducing agents, such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Please remind your child to cover their cough and the importance of washing their hands.
The following are signs and symptoms of influenza; please screen your child for illness before sending him/her to school. If you suspect an influenza illness, please call your physician for further guidance. Seasonal Influenza symptoms may include:
· Body Aches
· Runny or stuffy nose
· Sore throat
If you have any questions in regards to Influenza or any other communicable disease, please feel free to call the Stephenson County Health Department at 815-235-8271 or visit us at www.stephensonhealth.com.