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Flu outbreak prompts school to close in southwest Minnesota

At least 20 percent of their student population is sick.

A school in southwest Minnesota has closed for the rest of the week with hopes of slowing a flu outbreak. 

"Wabasso Public School students and staff have been hit pretty hard by sickness lately," said Superintendent Wade McKittrick in a Wednesday announcement.

The school had 53 students and nine staff members out sick on Tuesday and 74 students home sick on Wednesday, "with many more students that are walking the halls quite sick." 

"To combat the large amount of illness, to attempt to prevent further spread, ISD 640 will be closed January 24th and January 25th. There will be no school, no activities, no practices on these dates," McKittrick said. 

School will resume on Monday, Jan. 28. 

"We believe this action is prudent for the wellbeing of our students." 

Flu is widespread in Minnesota currently, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Influenza-like illnesses, as of Jan. 12, are fairly low in MInnesota compared to other locations in the country, and they're actually down from the moderate levels they were the previous two weeks. 

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Flu season peaks between November and March. The CDC says the flu usually comes on suddenly with all or some of the following symptoms:

  • fever
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • body aches
  • headache
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • sometimes diarrhea and vomiting

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