Illnesses cancel classes for 2 days
Thankful for a break, but not for being sick
Centre canceled school Monday and Tuesday with hope that sick students and staff would return in good health after Thanksgiving break.
Those who aren’t sick likely are thankful for another two days off school. People who are sick probably aren’t feeling so thankful right now.
Marion County Health Department investigated to make sure there wasn’t a public health emergency or an outbreak reportable to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. That included sussing out whether there was a food-borne illness.
“We worked closely with Centre schools,” department director Krista Schneider said. “A high percentage of students were absent last week, and we determined it was in the best interest of everyone to close the school and give students and teachers time to get well.”
About 50 students and roughly a dozen teachers had upper respiratory issues and a fever. Doctors diagnosed at least six students with influenza A.
The district canceled junior high basketball games Tuesday against Rural Vista.
“Please take care of yourselves and your families and have a wonderful Thanksgiving,” the school district said in an online posting.
A post Friday said 15 students went home because they were vomiting. Some — but not all — also had a fever.
“We had 12 students that were home sick today that didn’t come to school, so we have a major bug going around,” the post said.
Health officials advised that students who were vomiting, had a fever, or had diarrhea needed to stay home for 24 hours after they felt better with medication.
“This is extremely important to keep the bug from spreading to other students and staff,” the post said. “We have students who return to school the day after we send them home. This exposes everyone at school and only makes things worse for everyone else.”
Influenza A, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and strep throat are going around, Schneider said.
“It’s respiratory illness season,” she said. “There are a lot of different viruses and infections going around.”
She recommends good hand-washing hygiene and refraining from touching eyes, noses, and mouths.
“If you’re ill, stay home and avoid people who are sick,” Schneider said.
Last modified Nov. 23, 2022