- The school closed its doors after nearly one in five students withdrew due to illness
- Fourteen employees were also on leave with Covid, strep throat and the flu.
- READ MORE: Ohio becomes THIRD state to detect highly mutated BA.2.86
A Kentucky school district canceled classes shortly after reopening after sections of students were affected by a “triple epidemic” of outbreaks of flu, Covid and strep throat.
The district closed its doors less than two weeks after reopening after nearly a fifth of its students took sick leave.
The Lee County School District, which serves just under 900 students in the eastern part of the state, returned after summer break on August 9.
But by the end of the first week, nearly one in five students had dropped out with Covid, strep throat, the flu, or other illnesses. Fourteen staff members were also on leave.
Lee County Elementary School in Beattyville, Kentucky
Dr. Danny Benjamin, a pediatrician at Duke University, told NBC News that it’s still early in the year to see a major flu outbreak.
The graph above shows the percentage of positive Covid cases (tan line) and the weekly number of new Covid hospitalizations (blue bars).
Since attendance did not improve early the following week, the school decided to close on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
You will be running remote learning today and tomorrow. It is unclear when in-person classes are expected to begin again.
All extracurricular activities, including sports and games, have also been canceled to allow for a school deep cleaning.
Superintendent Earl Ray Schuler saying: ‘We are disinfecting our buses and our buildings and giving our staff and students time to recover.’
The district is divided into an elementary school and a combined middle and high school, and had roughly equal numbers of students from the two schools call in sick.
The updated Covid boosters are expected to roll out mid to late September, but are awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
Dr. Danny Benjamin, a pediatrician at Duke University, told NBC News that it’s still early in the year to see a major flu outbreak. He predicted that the outbreaks would occur in early October.
The flu season in the United States began earlier than expected last year, in the first weeks of October.
According to the CDC, there were 214 positive flu samples, less than one percent of the samples tested.
The CDC does not track strep A nationally, so it is impossible to know the numbers of daily cases.
Invasive group A streptococcus (iGAS) occurs when the bacteria invade a person’s muscle, fat, and deep lung tissue.
Symptoms include rash, sore throat, flushed cheeks, muscle aches, fever, and skin sores. It is a relatively mild disease that does not cause many pediatric deaths each year.
Meanwhile, US Covid infections have nearly doubled in the past month amid the rise of two highly mutated variants, official data suggests.
The US test positivity rate (the proportion of swabs that come back positive) has skyrocketed from one in 15 in the week ending July 15 to one in eight on August 12, according to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). data.