Two area schools had to close down because of flu-like illness going around and many are worried about it spreading during the holiday season.
Lathrop Elementary School was closed Friday and now Lone Jack announced they will be closed Monday and Tuesday. Because of the Thanksgiving break, Lone Jack won't have school at all next week. The district hopes the time off will give them enough time to get the germs out of the buildings.
"We're going to clean and disinfect all the hard surfaces, desk, tables, door handles, try to get everything disinfected, try to kill off all that as much as we can," Lathrop Schools Superintendent Chris Fine said.
More than a fourth of the students in Fine's school district are sick and the third, fourth and fifth grades were hit the hardest. More than 50 kids went home Thursday with flu-like symptoms, making it more than 25 percent of the elementary students and staff out sick. The numbers weren't as high at the middle and high school, but symptoms were increasing as the day wore on.
Basketball games went on as planned but field trips to the circus were canceled.
District officials said holding classes "would be a complete waste" from an academic standpoint. The hope is to prevent the bug from spreading by exposing fewer to it.
The custodial staff will spend all weekend in the school trying to get rid of the germs through disinfection and the hope is to have everyone back to normal on Monday.
What with the holidays coming up, many are now left wondering how they can keep their families healthy amidst all the germs floating around.
The kids at Parkville Academy sure are cute, but their habits of thumb sucking, toy sharing and friend hugging also help make everyone that comes in contact with them sick.
"I don't normally have a stomach bug plague the daycare. This has been our first really huge outbreak and we just we can't get it under control," Amanda Marshall with Parkville Academy said.
Germs can spread quickly around daycares because, with very little kids, just about anything is a chance to put it in their mouth and pass it on.
Parkville Academy's been sending home three kids a day this week to try to stay ahead of the illness spread. But the teachers are all getting the bug too and, like several area schools, they almost decided to shut down because everyone is hoping for a healthy holiday week.
"They said we need to get them home and get them well because we all have big plans this weekend, and do not want to carry this into next week with the holiday and family coming," Marshall said.
The spread of illnesses is a big concern for people stepping into area clinics such as The Urgency Room in the Northland.
"There's also a lot more hugging and kissing because you're visiting with relatives and people who would be close like that. Also people tend to travel and be in close quarters for an extended period of time and that tends to breed the viruses as well," Heather Isom with The Urgency Room said.
People at clinics are seeing plenty of cases of the flu already, but know that simple remedies like hand washing, hydrating, home rest and flu shots all help to keep the spread at bay.
There may be a couple different illnesses going around right now. Isom said there's the flu and it's coming on at the normal time with nothing too unusual about the cases so far.
There's also a possible stomach bug spreading and it seems to be focused more on gastrointestinal issues than respiratory problems.
Click here to read Lone Jack's school cancelation announcement.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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