Missouri one of seven states with the highest influenza rate

1 week 3 days 9 hours ago February 09, 2017 Feb 9, 2017 Thursday, February 09 2017 Thursday, February 09, 2017 7:46:00 PM CST in News
By: Jared Koller, KOMU 8 News

COLUMBIA – The department of influenza in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that Missouri is currently one of the seven states with the highest flu activity.

Influenza is a respiratory illness that hits suddenly and brings fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue and muscle aches.

KOMU 8 News reached out to four major school districts in the mid-Missouri area to see if local districts are feeling an abnormal influx in reported sicknesses or nurse visits.

Moberly Public Schools superintendent Matt Miller said there has been an increase in absences in the past week, while Columbia Public Schools said there is not a greater decrease in attendance than this time in previous years.

Angie Anderson, Mexico Public Schools head nurse, said overall attendance percentages are in the low 90’s, which is normal for this time, but one school did reach as low as 85 percent multiple times this week.

Anderson cited cases of strep throat, influenza and stomach virus as the most common cases she has seen.

Fulton Public Schools representative Karen Snethen also cited the same trifecta of strep throat, influenza and stomach virus, along with an increase of nurse visits in the Fulton school district.

Snethen said this week’s attendance was a 92.36 percent, 3 percent lower than the average school year attendance. That’s around 70 students more than usual. Snethen also referenced an increase in staff absences due to various sicknesses.

The CDC recommends annual flu vaccinations for everyone six months of age and older and encourages vaccinations for everyone who has yet to do so this season.

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