Widespread Flu Gripping Missouri

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- Widespread flu is now gripping the state of Missouri.  So far this flu season 13,065 Missourians have gotten the flu.  Well over half of them area children 14 years and younger.

At Promise Land Preschool in South County almost half of the 135 students are now sick or have recently missed classes because of illness.  Becky Mann is a director at the school, "To keep the kids healthy, that`s the big issue."

They are taking a big step to fight the flu.  Usually, parents are supposed to keep sick kids at home until they are fever and symptom free for 24 hours.  School administrators have increased that to 48 hours, to put a stop to what seems like a never ending illness.  Mann said, "It just keeps passing on to the next child or the next staff worker and the cycle doesn`t ever stop."

Sarah Shadowens is a teacher and a parent.  Her three year old missed several days of class with influenza B.  She glad the new policy is in place.  Shadowens said, "Just because they keep spreading it I think they longer they stay home and rest they won`t spread it as easily."

Ten staff members have become ill. They are going through lots of hand sanitizer and washing their hands frequently.  Five year old Jorie Bright got sick.  Bright said, "It was like terrible it was like terrible it feeled like I didn`t feel so well."  She added, "I laid on the couch like that whenever I was sleeping and I was going to wake up my tummy felt a little weird."

School officials said parents are supportive of the new policy even if they have to miss more days of work.  Mann said, "They`re encouraging we are taking those additional steps to keep their kids healthy."

CDC: 82% of U.S. States Reporting Widespread Flu