CAMPBELL COUNTY — The current flu season is on track to be one of the worst in recent years, with more cases than usual being reported early in the flu season. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health report cases of flu as being widespread as of the first week in January — the sixth week that has been the case. Nationwide, nearly 10 million people have become ill so far and 4,800 people have died, the CDC reports. Child flu deaths are double what they were at this time last year, with 32 reported fatalities so far. A usually less common form of the virus — type B — is being detected in a majority of the cases this season.
The good news for Campbell County residents is that, so far anyway, Campbell schools are not yet reporting a big jump in flu cases. That’s according to Campbell County Public Schools Director of Student Support Denton Sisk. “I’ve surveyed our schools and we don’t have an uptick at this moment,” Sisk told The Altavista Journal last week. “Usually when we notice something it is in February — last year we had a big year starting around then. I suspect we just have a handful now. We don’t always know how many students out sick have the flu — they may just have flu-like symptoms.”
Sisk credits the school system’s preventive measures with keeping flu cases down in its almost 8,000-student population. “We do a lot on hand washing and hygiene,” he said. “There’s wipes and disinfectants on teachers’ desks. We encourage kids to wash their hands all the time it’s a pretty constant thing.”
For the full story, be sure to pick up a copy of the Jan. 15 print edition of the Altavista Journal.