HARDIN COUNTY, Texas — West Hardin County CISD has canceled classes through Friday due to a rising number of sick students and staff.
The district says there have been a number of cases of flu, strep throat, stomach virus and pneumonia. In fact, superintendent Jim Armstrong said more than 100 students and staff were out sick Tuesday.
According to a Facebook post from the district, "If there are any changes in extra-curricular activities, the coach or sponsor will inform students and parents."
Classes will resume on Monday, November 11, after the school is sanitized. The district is asking that parents report all confirmed cases to the school nurse's Facebook page.
We have asked parents to report all confirmed cases. The school nurses Facebook page is @westhardinnurse.
The Hardin County Health Department had 18 flu cases confirmed this week, and seven cases of strep throat confirmed. These numbers are an increase compared to last week.
According to the CDC, influenza activity is on the rise in Texas.
"Compared to the previous week, the percentage of specimens testing positive for influenza reported by hospital laboratories increased," the Texas Dept. of State Health Services said on their website.
There have been flu-like illnesses reported across Southeast Texas with Jefferson, Orange and Jasper Counties reporting rapid test positive flu cases.
The flu typically hits December through February, according to Gonzales, but this year they've seen cases sporadically. To prevent the spread of diseases, Gonzales says hand-washing is key.
"The best thing is hand-washing, most diseases spread through touch," he explained.
He also highly recommends the flu shot. Preventing the flu also protects you from other illness. Gonzales says some people are weary of the vaccine, because they fear they'll get sick.
"We try to correct that by saying that these are the best things to prevent illness," Gonzales said.
Local doctors say they have been seeing a number of patients with upper respiratory infections.
The closure at West Hardin Co. CISD comes a day after China Elementary was forced to close their school for a deep cleaning after a suspected but unconfirmed case of meningitis. The Beaumont Health Department now confirms the child did not test positive for meningitis.