Flu absences down in local schools - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/23/09

Flu absences down in local schools

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Finally, some good news when it comes to the flu. It appears locally the worst may be over as flu cases decrease across the South Plains and the country. 

The Lubbock Health Department says cases of H1N1 and seasonal flu appear to have decreased by 50%, since September. We say appear, because not all flu cases are reported.

Flu is not a reportable condition unless it causes death, but Beckie Brawley at the Lubbock Health Department says they have reliable reports and numbers that do back up that the big decrease. "The novel H1N1 tends to be in the younger age group we would assume that's probably what this that was. There has been a lot of that out there and maybe now the kids in the school systems have all been exposed so it's not circulating like it was," says Brawley.

Brawley also attributes the decrease in flu cases to good personal health habits. "We have gotten the message out so good about washing hands and covering your mouth when you cough, that the population has done a really good job and that has decreased the amount of illness that we've seen."

School absenteeism is also down from what we saw back in October. LISD tells us their absentee rate is now consistent with this time last year. Lubbock Cooper says absences are currently at about 2.7% which is almost back to normal. Frenship says they're absentee rate is about 5%, again almost back to normal. Cooper and Frenship told us 7% of their students were absent in October.

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