West Texas schools see increase in student illnesses

West Texas schools see increase in student illnesses

WEST TEXAS (KWES) - West Texas students are seeing strep and flu-like symptoms in the classroom. With winds blowing and the weather changing over the past couple of months, it's no surprise that even students are feeling under the weather.

"We've been seeing lots of flu A's coming in the past month," said Pediatrician Dr. Omosede Evbuomwan with Medical Center Hospital. "They're all coming from schools and also from daycare. "

The Center for Disease and Control said flu season typically increases in October and November and peaks between December and March. Some can even last as late as May.

The Texas Department of State Health Services told us fortunately, there were no influenza-associated deaths reported in children this year.

Students in the Basin that experienced flu-like symptoms, whether they had a high fever or severe coughing were likely recovering at home.

We reached out to school districts to see whether there was an increase in student illnesses.

Ector County ISD says they always see a drop in student attendance during the winter months. Since the flu is an unreportable illness, they weren't able to comment on whether the students were in fact sick with the virus.

"We have had a spike in the past couple of weeks, so what we do is we send kids home just for a constellation of symptoms like cough or fever," said ECISD Nursing Director, Laura Matthew. "But we don't know if it's the flu or something else specific, we just know that they can't stay at school."

Pecos- Barstow-Toyah ISD said they have seen an increase in sick students in the past two weeks. They plan to disinfect their classrooms this weekend.

Midland ISD said they haven't seen any significant drops in student attendance in relation to the flu season.

"Because there are a lot of children together in a small space, and depending on the weather outside, if it's cold, most children are indoors playing," said Evbuomwan. "Good hand hygiene is not being performed, that's a very fast way to easily get sick."

Although February is still the peak month, doctors say it's not too late to get your flu shot. Anyone over six-months-old should go get their vaccine.

Copyright 2017 KWES. All rights reserved.