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Pike County weathering flu season

Of all seasons of the year, the flu season is the most talked about and the most unwelcomed.

And, from all indications, it’s still hanging around.

Dr. Elizabeth Dawson, Medical Director Charles Henderson Child Health Center, said influenza (flu) seems to be peaking now and a few more weeks of high activity is likely.

“We are seeing increased cases in the flu and influenza-like illness,” Dawson said. “Mid-January to mid-February is where we tend to see the highest volume of flu and influenza-like illness.

“Most of our cases that test positive have not had their flu shots but, in a few instances, they have had their flu shots and still get the flu or are present with influenza-like illness.”

Dawson said in order to reduce the spread of the flu virus, it is important that children and adults do not go to school or work within 24 hours of having fever.

Dr. Mark Bazzell, superintendent of Pike County Schools, said he talked Wednesday with Dr. Mark Head, who is in charge of prevention and support services for the county schools,

“Dr. Head said he was not aware that absences were much more than usual,” Bazzell said. “We have not received any calls from school nurses that they are seeing excessive absences. So far; so good.”

Dr. Lee Hicks, superintendent of Troy City Schools, said every effort is being made to keep the city schools clean and as germ free as possible.

“We advise parents and teachers to look out of low-grade fevers,” Hicks said. “So far, we have not seen anything out of the ordinary, not like last year. Right now, things are near normal, so to speak. However, I might be speaking too soon and things could change.”

In the wake of the closing of Opp City Schools this week, Hicks said the State Superintendent of Education has advised that days missed due to school closings will have to be made up.

A Pike Liberal Arts Schools representative said absences are up but not significantly and are due to several wintertime illnesses, not specifically flu.