Flu outbreak closes schools in Osceola, Arkansas

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OSCEOLA, Ark. — All four of Osceola's public schools were closed Friday as administrators deal with a flu outbreak among students and teachers.

Doctors there are seeing high numbers of flu patients and are urging the public to take precautions.

Custodial staff spent Friday deep cleaning. The district plans to re-open Monday.

Kenya Thomas's four children have all been diagnosed with the flu, including her two-month-old daughter. WREG spoke with her Friday outside the emergency room at South Mississippi County Medical Center in Osceola,

"My one-year-old had a temp of 105 when I took her to the doctor that Monday. And she had the flu type A," Thomas said.

No one was available at the school's administrative offices because they were also closed.

Dr. Sejal Thakor, a primary care physician in Osceola, has her hands full battling the flu bug.

"Last two to three weeks, there has been a significantly increased number of the flu diagnosis," she said. "I would say 10 to 15 cases a day in our clinic."

She said she's seeing more children this flu season between the ages of 2 and 7.

"Younger kids are affected more. They are presenting with fever, nausea, vomiting, body ache and not eating well."

Thakor warns this is the time of the year when new strains of the flu virus show up, so it's important to stay current on vaccinations and practice good hygiene.

Doctor's urge patients to be seen within 48 hours of showing a high-grade fever. After that, a flu vaccination starts losing its effectiveness.

 

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