Flu hits Cape Girardeau

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Hundreds of kids home sick from school, many with the flu.

From Jan. 30 to Feb. 10, the Cape Girardeau County Health Department has seen 10 cases of the flu. They only see lab confirmed cases, meaning people have to go to the doctor, and get tested for the flu.

"He has never been this sick before," said Lana Andrews.

Her son is a Freshman at Cape Central High school.

"My son began feeling sick Wednesday morning took him to school and by 8:10, 8:15 I had received a call," said Andrews.

He went to the doctor, and was diagnosed with Influenza Type A.

"The most scary part of the illness is the high fever," said Andrews.

Friday was the first day he didn't have the fever.

The symptoms were a common thread at the high school this week.

"This one just far exceeds anything I've ever witnessed," said Cape Central Principal Dr. Mike Cowan.

Cowan says nurses sent home 81 kids on Wednesday, and 38 kids Thursday. About 400 kids were out of school Thursday.

"On one hand you can say it was slowing down on Thursday, on the other hand, there weren't many people left on Thursday," said Cowan.

"When it hits you, it hits you hard, you can be fine one minute, the next minute you can be very, very sick," Vanessa Landers, the Communicable Disease Coordinator, and Public Health Nurse at the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Department. "Main thing, if you're sick, got a fever, you need to stay home."

She says washing your hands is just one thing people can do to help prevent the flu from spreading.

"They've also talked to the kids about not sharing their food and drink, and teaching them make sure you cough into your elbow, sneeze into your elbow," said Landers.

Landers says you can still get a flu shot, but only one each flu season. That lasts from about October to May.

"Anything is not a hundred percent, but if you get that flu vaccine it may lessen your period of illness, your amount of illness that you have, how you feel," said Landers.

"After the last few days, I think the kids, the faculty, the staff, the building needed to rest and recover," said Cowan.

Cowan says the school is taking extra precautions.

"They started last night doing some extra sanitizing of locker knobs and door room knobs and water fountains," said Cowan.

"I hope that there won't be anymore cases, I'm sure they're doing all they can to clean the building the best they can, I myself have been spraying Lysol, over and over," said Andrews.

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