Local middle school hit hard by flu


By Rick Lytle, sports editor
South Middle School, one of the middle schools feeding into Prospect, was hit hard by flu season.
It peaked February 27th, when 20% of the schools 840 students were sick from school, with many of them reporting flu like symptoms. That week, the Cook County Department of Public Health reported Influenza activity as high, and increasing for three weeks prior.
Susan Erickson has two kids, Ty and Hailey, in eight grade at South. Both of them were diagnosed with Influenza A. Ty had a 102 fever and missed six days of school, while Hailey had a fever as high as 104 and missed three days.
The school was very accommodating and helpful during the week that they were out,” Erickson said. She commented how she received an email from a couple of the kids teachers, and the overall message was “stressing no pressure to do any work while they were sick.”
The school sent multiple emails to keep the families updated on the situation, in which they addressed the measures taken to combat the outbreak.
“At school, we are continuing to promote healthy habits, encouraging students to wash hands, and use the hand sanitizer dispensers available in most classrooms. Our custodial team is treating some areas of the building more frequently to help prevent the spread of germs,” said Principal Piper Boston in an email.
The school added that the most effective method to prevent the virus from spreading was to keep any students experiencing flu-like symptoms at home.
“I feel like the school provided good communication through the process, especially since so many kids were out sick that week.  I really don’t know if there is much else the school could have done,” Erickson said.
Although emergency department visits connected to flu-like symptoms are at a season high in Cook County, the CDC forecasts predict that there is 90% chance the flu season has peaked.