Flu season is reaching its peak -- with the virus “widespread” in 43 states -- and 14,000 new infections a week.
With a quarter of the student body in Clarkton, Missouri home sick with the flu, school officials decided to park the buses and close the doors.
“We were dropping like flies,” said Superintendent Delane Beckwith. “We had about 70 kids out.”
That’s a first for Beckwith.
“Friday, I was hurting, and got home Friday night, sick all day Saturday,” Beckwith said.
Missouri is one of 23 states with high activity this season. And we’ve seen a total of 20 flu-related deaths in children.
On Long Island, near New York City, Nassau University Medical Center’s pediatric emergency room is now open 24-7 to deal with an influx of flu.
“This season we’re seeing a lot of the H3 virus, so this is the one where people get very sick and it normally affects elderly people children and pregnant women,” said Dr. Ben de la Rosa of Holy Name Medical Center in New Jersey.
He says his emergency room has been busy.
“We’re right around the time where you would see a peak,” de la Rosa says.
Audrey Fagnano began to have symptoms after a co-worker was diagnosed with the flu.
“I felt like I was gonna faint and I couldn’t stay awake,” Fagnano said.
She tested negative for flu but says now she plans to get the vaccine.
In Illinois, there was an uptick in flu activity over the past week, with 43 people admitted to intensive care units. The CDC says this year’s vaccine is a good match for the year’s virus and 145 million doses have shipped out.