SUFFOLK, Va. — Several schools in Hampton Roads closed this week due to high levels of influenza and strep throat.
More than five schools closed for one day. Parents told 13News Now they would rather have their kids stay home for the day than risk getting the flu.
According to the CDC, Virginia's influenza activity level is designated as "widespread." This includes confirmed cases of influenza as well as influenza-like illnesses.
Christ the King Catholic School in Norfolk and Star of the Sea Catholic School in Virginia Beach were closed on Tuesday due to significant amounts of flu and strep throat throughout the school.
Nansemond-Suffolk Academy in Suffolk is closed Friday due to high levels of flu activity.
Over the past 24-hours, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy's levels of absenteeism have been increasing significantly.
“If they felt it was necessary to do a deep clean then just make sure all their kids stay healthy by all means,” said Megan Finley.
The students, faculty, and staff have been encouraged to take preventative actions to stop the spread of germs, and the school's housekeeping staff has been diligent in deep cleaning surfaces and items of “frequent touch,” it has been difficult to stop the rapid spread of illness over the last 24-hours.
School leaders said it has been difficult to stop the rapid spread of illness over the last 24-hours. Finley said her kids aren’t sick, but she’s glad the school is being proactive.
To ensure that the students, faculty, and staff have ample time to recover, and to allow housekeeping staff time to thoroughly disinfect our facilities, NSA closed for the day on Friday, February 8.
All school activities scheduled for Friday and Saturday will be rescheduled, and virtual learning will not be accepted.
A Physician Assistant at Patient First, Stephen Biggs, said he’s seen dozens of patients with the flu.
“We’ve seen it where two family members come in and four days later the other four come in,” said Biggs.
Biggs said almost every other person he treats at Patient First has the virus.
“I usually ask the question, do you feel like you’ve been hit by a truck. Typically the answer is yes,” explained Biggs.
Biggs reminds parents to keep your children home if they have a fever.
Biggs said, “The thing I find with a lot of parents is they say their kid had a fever in the morning but they are fine when given Motrin and it goes down and they think their kid is not contagious which is a big mistake.”