Schools Across Oklahoma Seeing Widespread Flu, Illness


Wednesday, February 8th 2017, 6:14 pm
By: Dana Hertneky


Classes are canceled for the rest of the week in Minco because so many kids are sick. This as parents and educators across the state say they are seeing it too. For example, in Edmond they've seen absentees spike to 8-9% and at Frontier Elementary it's been more than double that.

Mrs. Call's Kindergarten class was missing five students on Wednesday, and one day last week almost half of her 23 kids were absent.  

“There’s some ear infections going around, I have kids throwing up, I have kids coughing,” said Robyn Call.

At Frontier where 20% of their students were out sick on Monday, the principal says more than half are confirmed cases of strep or the flu or both.

That was the same case at Minco where school was canceled for the rest of the week.

An epidemiologist with the State Health Department says they are seeing widespread flu cases statewide. But also, cases of Norovirus which is known as the 24-hour stomach bug, and lots of different respiratory viruses.

Dr. Kristen Lewis, a Pediatrician with Mercy Clinic says all that is normal for this type of year. But here's what parents need to watch for:

“Symptoms that are concerning, especially to bring (your child) in: fever, especially lasting several days, they aren’t wanting to eat or drink, looking sluggish, if they’re vomiting and it’s not controlled over a day or two.”

And all health experts recommend lots of hand washing and lots of extra cleaning using bleach or a cleaner that says it’s active against norovirus.

The Health Department also says they have been seeing some cases of a type-B flu strain that may not have been included in the flu shot depending on what type of vaccine you received.