Flu season causing hundreds to stay home from school

COXSACKIE, N.Y. — Flu season is here in a big way and it's causing hundreds of students to stay home sick from school.

The Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons school in Schenectady was actually closed Tuesday because of a high number of sick students and employees.

In a letter to parents, the district says the day off will give those who are feeling sick time to recover.

Other districts are being forced to cancel sporting events because of the number of sick students.

A flulike illness has spread rapidly through the small Coxsackie-Athens School District. Just like other schools hit hard by the flu, students are now being told to go home if they are sick and stay there until they recover.

District officials tell NEWS10 they are seeing at least 20% or more absenteeism than normal.

Many of those students are showing symptoms of influenza like illness.

The sickness impacts not only studies but also school sports, leaving teams with not enough players to compete.

As a result, last week's football game cancelled. The makeup game with Catholic Central, which was scheduled for Monday night, was also cancelled.

The illness popped up last week.

We spoke to senior Daniel Hanson, who is recovering from the flu that gave him a fever of 103 degrees.

“A lot of people didn't feel good,” he says, “they just left because they didn't want to get sick. Some of my friends just left because they didn't want to get sick and I stayed and got sick.”

Superintendent Dr. Earle Gregory says he does not know if this is the h1n1 virus.

He says the Greene County Health Department told him that they would not begin testing for the swine flu until a student or teacher has to be hospitalized.

So far, Coxsackie-Athens schools remain open.

Closure will be up to whether or not they have sufficient staff who are still healthy to teach.

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