Just under 200 students in the Highland School District stayed home Thursday because of the flu and strep throat, district officials said.
Medical professionals at St. Joseph’s Hospital say it has been a bad year for the flu in Highland.
“We have seen a big increase from the last year with the flu especially,” said St. Joseph’s Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Melissa Cates. “Last year was quite mild with the flu, so this year is where it should be.”
Cates said some of the symptoms of strep throat and the flu are similar, but there are some differences.
“They mimic each other. You get a fever, you get a sore throat. One of the main differences with strep is you see red patches on the back of the throat or swollen lymph nodes. Sometimes you even see white patches on the back of the tonsils.”
Cates added that someone with the flu also experience body aches.
The Highland School District said it is taking precautions such as disinfecting surfaces and notifying parents. The district is also limiting water fountain use.
The St. Louis County Health Department said there has been a slight increase in flu cases in St. Louis County, but overall, the numbers are normal.
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