Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa

Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

February 1, 2018 Local schools dodging the bullet on the flu this season
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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The flu season is here and it seems like everyone’s sick with something. But compared to the rest of the country, Lone Tree, Riverside, Wellman and Kalona may escape relatively unscathed.

According to the National Institute of Health, the symptoms of influenza are similar to those of the common cold, but worse. Flu comes on suddenly with fever, headache, all over aches and pains, and extreme fatigue.

School absenteeism is one indication of how widespread the flu in Johnson and Washington counties is. The Iowa Department of Public Health’s influenza surveillance network keeps track of how many students are absent in order to determine how serious the flu season might be in a given year. Forty Iowa schools have reported absentee levels of 10 percent or higher, but so far none of them have been in Johnson or Washington counties.

While there’s plenty of “the usual winter crud,” school nurses in all three districts say it’s no worse than expected.

Jo Herr, school nurse at Lone Tree High School, said absentee levels at Lone Tree were nowhere near that high.

“There’s a lot of the usual winter illnesses,” Herr said. “But not more than normal.”

Shawn Loy, school nurse at Highland High School, also said Highland was not seeing high levels of absenteeism due to illness this winter.

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