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Illness closes Oneida, Scott County, Union County schools Friday

12:39 AM, Feb 17, 2012   |    comments
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School leaders in Oneida, Scott County and Union County hope some time off will put a stop to quickly-spreading illness in the district.

All Oneida schools will be closed on Friday, Director of Schools Ann Sexton said Thursday afternoon.

Scott County Director of Schools Bill Hall also announced the Friday closure of his district on Thursday afternoon.

Sexton said absentee rates on Thursday morning were nearly 12%, and additional students had gone home with strep and flu-like symptoms.  Hall noted students were also dealing with a stomach bug.

Several members of the staff were also ill, both school directors said.

Hall said absentee rates for Scott County were about 13% Thursday.

Counting the Presidents' Day holiday on Monday, that will give four days for students and staff to recover.

The Oneida High School boys basketball game at 7:00 p.m. Thursday went on as scheduled.

Pediatrician Dr. Evelyn Silver says it's been the worst flu season she's seen in Scott County since she began practicing in the area 11 years ago.

She says the office has been so busy with sick children, they ran out of the nasal swab kit used to test for different flu strains.

She attributes the rise in illness to a drop in vaccinations, noting that she actually ordered less vaccine this year than in previous years due to lower demand.

She says on top of reminders to wash hands and cover mouths, she recommends that parents keep children home and away from siblings or peers for 24-hours after their fever abates.

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