With absences rising at McAlester High School, state health officials believe that the H1N1 Influenza A swine flu virus has hit the school.
The number of increased absentees at the high school on Wednesday has now shot to 120 students — up from 104 on Tuesday.
MPS Superintendent Tom Condict estimated that from 9 to 10 percent of the total student body was absent from the high school on Wednesday — and school and health officials are hoping to keep the illness from becoming more widespread.
“We want to get the message out, if you have flu-like symptoms, stay home,” Condict said. After talking with public health officials, he recommended that students, along with faculty and support staff, be fever-free for at least 24 hours before returning to school.
Pittsburg County Health Dept. Administrator Mike Echelle had a similar message.
“Parents are taking precautions,” he said. “ I have to applaud those that are staying home from school.”
Not all of the absences were due to illness, but many of them were, according to Condict. Many of the symptoms reported included fever and a sore throat, he said.
“Right now we have 120 total absences at the high school,” Condict said, adding that the school has determined that 85 were out due to illness and the remainder for other reasons.
No one had been hospitalized, as far as school and health officials knew Wednesday evening.http://www.mcalesternews.com/homepage/l ... cturestory