Influenza is a common viral infection that can be deadly, especially in high-risk groups.
Despite the fact that the U.S. holds an estimated 45% of the global pharmaceutical market, there are still plenty of flu cases each year that impact everyone from school children and working professionals to senior citizens attempting to enjoy retirement.
Sadly, each year, on average, between 5% to 20% of the U.S. population will get the flu. Tens of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands die each year from flu-related illnesses, costing an estimated $10.4 billion a year in direct medical expenses and an additional $16.3 billion in lost earnings.
When managed properly, the flu can be handled effectively in a day or two, but when the disease begins to spread in concentrated areas, much more serious problems can occur.
In Texas, the Coppell School District was recently rated number five in Best School District in Texas in 2018 by Niche rankings. Over the last few weeks, however, the entire district has seen an uptick in flu-related illnesses, causing concern throughout the entire community — and even some national attention.
According to FOX News, Coppell Middle School West has roughly 1,300 students enrolled and about 25% — more than 350 students — were recently out sick with flu-like symptoms.
The school district sent a letter to parents, saying a custodial teem will deep clean classrooms and other areas throughout the buildings.
“The flu is a virus and is easily passed to others. The main symptom of the flu is fever and can include body aches, chills, cough and congestion, sore throat, or vomiting,” the letter said. “Your child should stay home until fever-free for 24 hours without the aid of a fever suppressing over the counter medication (such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen).”
The school nurse is working alongside CISD Health Services to monitor illness reports and emphasize the importance of getting the flu shot.
“The promotion of immunizations is really central to our public health focus,” said Joyce Alcorn, CISD coordinator of health services. “I think the district’s position is that every child is protected both for their own individual health and the health of the community, and when they aren’t it becomes a barrier to education so all of that is important to us.”