KDHE: Flu not showing signs of declining yet

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A flu death forced one Kansas school district to cancel classes.

The Columbus School District in Southeast Kansas closed doors to all its schools on Thursday and Friday. Earlier this week, an elementary school para in the district died after catching the flu.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said it doesn’t recommend that a district close a school unless a high amount of staff gets sick and the school can’t function properly.

But with the extra days off, the district is ramping up efforts to clean the school while students are away.

KDHE said kids and older people are most susceptible of getting sick from the flu. Health officials said that flu activity in Kansas isn’t showing signs of declining.

“We’ve had two influenza pediatric deaths so far this year, unfortunately, we do have a couple reported every year. We are monitoring both outpatient clinics and emergency departments and we’re still seeing high numbers of flu in both of those settings,” Amie Cook, epidemiologist at KDHE, said.

“It’s still important to practice influenza prevention measures,” Cook said. “You can get your flu shot, stay home when you’re sick, wash your hands and cover your cough.”

Officials said flu season can last through May.

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