Sick Student Cycle Should End by January

December 26, 2002
Posted at: 3:45 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The state Health Department says that the flu-like viruses that infected thousands of Arkansas students should have run their course by the time children go back to class in January.

But with three months of cold and flu season left, more illness could be on the way. Doctor David Bourne said with students out of school, the department cannot accurately track the bugs that hit children during the break. But Bourne said since a respiratory virus' cycle generally lasts about a week.

Students should be over the recent outbreaks when they return to school in January, he said. The current wave of infection began about a week after the Thanksgiving holiday. School districts reported that as many as 30 to 40 percent of students and faculty were absent due to illness.

As a result, districts closed from one day to one week early for the holidays.

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