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Flu shuts down northeast Kansas school district

The virus has forced Doniphan County West USD 111 to call off class the rest of the week because so many kids are sick.

Posted: Dec 11, 2018 1:31 PM

(DONIPHAN COUNTY, Ks.) The flu is hitting a northeast Kansas school district hard.

The virus has forced Doniphan County West USD 111 to call off class the rest of the week because so many kids are sick.

"It was a good decision on their part with as many kids that were out with influenza and influenza like symptoms," said Kay Smith, Doniphan County Health Department.

Superintendent Mike Newman said 110 kids were out sick from the Jr./Sr. High School in Highland on Monday. Almost half of the students were sick at the elementary school in Denton. Out of 220 students, 92 were sick with the flu.

Health officials said the number of sick kids really left the district with no other choice but to cancel school.

"You have to stay home," said Smith. "That's how you can keep this from spreading like it has in D-West."

Newman said custodians will spend the rest of the week disinfecting both schools. Students are expected to be back in class on Monday.

Smith said the best thing to do if kids come down with the flu is to stay home for seven days after the onset of symptoms.

"Usually with influenza it's abrupt and comes on quickly," Smith said. "You usually have a fever of 100 degrees or more, achy, chills, a real bad headache and fatigue."

Smith also recommends covering your cough and washing your hands to protect yourself from the flu. But, the best way to avoid the flu is to get the flu vaccine.

"We encourage everyone to get the flu shot every year," Smith said. "This tends to happen when it gets out of control. You need to get the flu shot every single year, every year."

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