Flu cases on the rise in Region 8

Flu cases on the rise in Region 8

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - Flu season is here and it has hit areas of Region 8 hard.

Independence County has one school district that even closed for a period of days due to illness.

Batesville School District recently had to temporarily close because of the increase of illness in the school, forcing the school district to use alternative methods of instruction.

Superintendent Dr. Michael Hester said the main illness was Type A flu.

Director of Emergency and Medicine at White River Medical Center in Batesville, Dr. Skip Baker, said he recommends anyone over the age of six months or older to get their flu vaccines.

“Our flu season last year happened a little bit earlier on in the season," Baker said. "I would say over the last three weeks or so, it’s picked up a considerable amount.”

Dr. Hester said they had to close the school down due to excessive absenteeism that flu cases had caused.

“We had 340 to 420 students out a day in one week," Hester said. “On that last day, we had up to 53 substitutes. That’s why we just said we’re going to call the school off because there weren’t enough adults to cover.”

Dr. Hester said they used the time while the school was closed to clean and disinfect the entire school.

He also said that if your student is sick with a fever, you should not have them return to school until they are no longer contagious.

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