Region 8 hit hard by flu

January 29, 2007 -- Posted at 5:47 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR-  If you have kids or probably already know that a flu epidemic has taken a hold on Region 8 over the past week.

Doctors offices are full while classrooms are empty.

"We've seen a lot of children who've had fevers over 101 degrees," said school nurse Charlotte Chaplain.

"I don't think that I've seen six days like this where we've been consistently above fourteen or fifteen percent absent," said Greene County Tech Principal Joe Ed Smith.

On Monday there were 127 kids out of 850 students were sick at Greene County Tech Primary, that's about 15% of the student body.

"One day I think we sent twenty kids home in the first hour and a half," said Smith.

Dr. David Matthews who works at The Children's Clinic, said the flu virus is worse this year than it has been in the past couple of years.

"Over about a weeks' time we'd see about 50 positive tests for flu in kids.  Last Monday we saw fifty kids in one day and it's been 30 or 40 positives every day since then," said Matthews.

Smith said that he prefers that parents keep their children home if they are showing any signs of the flu.

For more information on the flu check out these links:

Center for Disease Control