Swine flu hitting Spokane schools - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Swine flu hitting Spokane schools

SPOKANE, Wash. - As the flu virus continues to spread across the Inland Northwest, area schools are being hit with different intensities of the virus. Absenteeism ranges from the low range of one or two percent to more than 20 percent at some area schools.

The Central Valley School District reports five schools with absenteeism more than 10 percent.  District spokeswoman Melanie Rose says letters are being sent to parents with children at the affected schools.

Barker High School was hit especially hard with more than 20 percent of students calling out sick last week.

The Central Valley School district monitors attendance records three times a day, according to Rose.

Letters about swine flu were also sent to parents with children at several schools in the Mead School district. 

A letter was sent to parents at Mountainside Middle School this week as the principal described callouts of about 10 percent this week.

The letters urge parents to cover basic hygiene techniques with students including proper hand washing, coughing into arms and staying home if a fever greater than 100 degrees is present.

The area's largest district, District 81, says several schools have seen absenteeism around 10 percent for a single day, but they have not noticed a trend lasting longer than a single day.

Authorities at several districts said they expect flu-related absenteeism to decline once the vaccine for swine flu becomes available sometime next month.

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