A flu virus has rocked a Very Far Western suburb of Chicago school district with nearly 700 students called out sick on Monday at St. Charles East High School. And Tuesday additional 900 students called sick reported with flu like symptoms. So school leaders have decided to closed the school Wednesday and re-open on Monday.
St. Charles is 45 miles west of Chicago in Kane County, a small portion of the city is located in DuPage County.
All activities, exams, and athletic events have been canceled.
St. Charles East High has a daily enrollment 2100.
Administrators don’t know if the virus that affected the kids is H1N1 virus or the seasonal flu. This is the biggest outbreak in the Chicagoland area this year.
On the School’s web site it said in a statement:
“The high level of absences is beginning to impact normal school operations,” the school said on its website.
“Extra-curricular activities for Tuesday, October 20th will go forward as scheduled. All athletic extra-curricular and parent night activities scheduled Wednesday through Friday are postponed until further notice.”
School Superintendent Dr. Don Schlomann, superintendent of District 303 schools.
“We want parents to make the choice of keeping their child home if they’re running a fever or have flu-like symptoms,” said Dr. Schlomann,
It was Dr. Schlomann who made the choice to shut the school for the rest of the week because it was tough to schedule classes with so few students around.
For students they have notice the absences WBBM-TV reporter Derrick Blakely talk to students.
“I didn’t think it was that bad this morning, but the nurse said that I have to go home., that my fever’s too high. It’s just above 100,” said Amanda Mueller a Freshman at St Charles East High School.
“My algebra class had seven people in it,” said Mueller. “It normally has 15.”
“Yes, because so many people were missing, we weren’t getting anything accomplished,” said student Bridget Mitchell.
The illness ranges from Bronchitis, colds and flu.
A factor may have been the cold in climate weather last week which hit Friday and Saturday. It was also Homecoming week which including a football game and a dance afterward many students have participated.
Tuesday Evening, WBBM-TV reporter Kristyn Hartman reports the school was busy with student sports activities. But After tonight all events were canceled for the remainder of the week.
“When tonight’s event is over, we’re gonna shut down,” said Jerry Krieg, St. Charles East’s Athletic Director.
The over the next few days the District 303 will have a clean up crew to scrub down the school from top to bottom before kids and staff return.