Influenza outbreak causes some area schools to close


Cameron Murry

A student grabs a Kleenex after sneezing during the flu season. The recent flu outbreak has caused some schools to close for a few days at a time.

Story by Peyton Sims, staff writer

Recently, multiple area schools have closed for a few select days due to low attendance of students absent due to being sick with the flu. TISD parents and students have questioned if any schools should be temporarily closed because of this contagious disease.

“I don’t see [us] closing for this reason,” school nurse Robin Keahey said. “The school’s population is too large for us to close due to a flu outbreak. We would have to have a massive, massive amount of students and staff get sick. There are not very many people with the flu at Texas High compared to other schools around us.”

Missing days or even weeks of school can set a student dramatically behind their classmates since they may have large amounts of makeup work or will possibly have to go in on their own time to complete tests or assignments that they’ve missed. Health and school officials urge students to wash their hands often, avoid touching your face and to get a flu vaccination if you have not already.

“We have recently seen a large number of patients coming in with the flu. Normally during flu season, HealthCARE Express has a rise in patient numbers. The flu is caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs that spread when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk, sending droplets with the virus into the air and potentially into the mouths or noses of people who are nearby,” HealthCARE Express worker Cody Scott said. “You can also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it, and then touching your own mouth, eyes or nose. The flu is popular amongst students, because of the high frequency of close proximity interactions.”

Influenza symptoms include headaches, coughing, sore throat, muscle aches or fever. If you are experiencing any of these, there is a likely chance that you have the flu. The single best way to avoid getting ill is simply getting a flu shot.

In the future, the flu outbreak has the chance of decreasing. Do not forget to take easy precaution such as washing your hands or getting vaccinated because if you don’t you can spread the flu to every person you come in contact with. This pandemic is expected to increase but thanks to new forms of medicine it may go away quicker than people expected.

“I’ve had the flu over the past weekend. My doctors and I came to the conclusion that I most likely had gotten the flu from eating and drinking after others at school. This seemed likely because so many people at our school have been getting sick,” sophomore Bailey Hawkins said. “Having the flu put me behind on my homework since I was mostly resting and too sick to do anything. Right now it’d be safe for any other students to be careful and avoid eating or drinking after someone who might be sick.”