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20% of Neillsville public school students sickened with flu


NEILLSVILLE, WI (WTAQ) - One of every five public school students in Neillsville were home with the flu Wednesday.

Superintendent John Gaier said about 200 youngsters either stayed home or were sent home, as school officials tried to contain an outbreak of both stomach flu and respiratory flu.

Some kids brought their illnesses to school – and the Neillsville district called and e-mailed parents, urging them to keep their children at home if they show symptoms of headaches or sore throats. The same message went on the district’s Web site.

Officials want kids to stay home until they have no fever or other symptoms for a full 24 hours without the use of medicines like Tylenol or ibuprofen. Parents are also encouraged to arrange flu shots for their children.

Gaier said cleaning crews have been working late to sterilize the building. Neillsville is located about 25 miles southwest of Marshfield. 

WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee reports that over 1,200 people in Wisconsin have had hospital treatment for the flu in recent days.

In Milwaukee County, most hospitals have diverted ambulances to other facilities because their beds and staffs are tied up with flu cases. Officials say the numbers of people hospitalized are double what they were a week ago. And the flu season is not expected to reach its peak for at least another couple weeks.