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School closed due to flu outbreak and absenteeism

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Published on Wed, Feb 28, 2007
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School closed due to flu outbreak
and absenteeism

BY CHUCK TUCK | JOURNAL REPORTER Two children have died this year in King County from flu complications, and a school has shut down.

Does this mean we are on the verge of a flu pandemic?

James Apa, a spokesperson for the health agency has said, “we’re not seeing any superbugs in the community, what we’re seeing is a typical flu virus.”

The deaths were the result of an uncommon reaction to a common virus according to Apa.

According to Kathy Grant of the Granite Falls school district, there has not been a significant amount of absences from the middle and high schools; there was however a small increase of students absent at one of the elementary schools a couple of weeks ago.

In King County, 33 schools had more than ten percent of its students absent one week, which is typical compared to past flu seasons according to Jeffrey Duchin, chief of the communicable disease section for Public Health-Seattle & King County.

Also, there have been fewer cases statewide of the flu this year compared with other years, said Tim Church, spokesman for the state Department of Health.

With Feb. and March being peak season for the flu, Duchin said, “we’re certainly starting to see a few more now.”

Many healthy adults who have the influenza virus may be able to infect others as quick as one day before symptoms develop to five days after becoming ill.

This means you can get someone sick before you even know that you are sick with the flu.

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