Flu Frenzy Begins

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This is the first health-related district wide school closure in Pershing County in the last six years.
But, school officials warn it's not *because* of a seasonal flu outbreak, it's to prevent a possible outbreak.

Steve Kutz, with the Washoe County Health Department, says schools are prone for the spread of germs.
"Right now, you're not having a lot of outdoor activity because of the cold weather. So, you're indoors, crowded conditions. You get a couple people sick in a large susceptible population."

This week, the elementary schools reported a 6-percent absence rate, while the middle school saw even more students gone with 13-percent of the students absent.
The high school lost 7-percent this week.

It's important to point out, the district says not all of the students were out with the flu... some were sick with a cold or even strep throat, while others took off early for a holiday vacation.
But, the school nurse says if more students had stayed home when they were sick, they would not have needed to make this decision.

"General rule is if you have not had a fever for 24-hours, then you would be considered ready to attend normal activities."
It's also not too late to get a flu shot... besides, we still have a couple months to go.

"This is just the beginning of the flu season which typically runs through March."

Daniel Fox, the superintendent for Pershing County Schools, says the school closure will come at no cost to the district.
He says they planned ahead this year, and have a buffer day at the end of the school year so students are able to make up lost time.

For more information about where you can get a flu shot, go to the Washoe County Health Department website for an accurate list of locations.