Winona Schools Close Following Flu Outbreak - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/15/02 - Winona

Winona Schools Close Following Flu Outbreak

The flu bug causes another East Texas school district to close its doors. As of Thursday afternoon, 112 Winona I.S.D. students had the flu or flu-like symptoms. That's about 12 percent of the entire student population. In October, Carlisle I.S.D. experienced a similar problem and canceled classes.

The Smith County Health District says out of all Winona cases, only one student has tested positive for the actual flu, the rest are fighting flu-like symptoms. To stop the virus from spreading, the district cancelled classes for Friday.

The outbreak has both parents and city residents concerned. Laura Murphy works at a popular eatery called Kuntry Drive-In and has a niece out sick. "A guy came in here this morning with his two kids...he took them to get their flu shots," Murphy says. "I think he got one too." Murphy says she's lived in Winona most of her life and has never seen anything like this.

The Smith County Health Department says the flu has a germination period of seven days. They hope by Monday the strain's cycle will be broken.

Until then, they recommend parents, students and faculty get their flu shots. The health department will re-evaluate the situation, when classes resume on Monday.

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