O’FALLON, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- A St. Charles County school is shutting down for the rest of the week due to flu-like symptoms that has spread among 20 percent of students.

Assumption Catholic school, located in O’Fallon, MO, is currently experiencing a spread of illness with flu-like symptoms leaving a large number of students sick and out of school.

Due to this outbreak, school officials have decided to shut down for the rest of the week to sanitize the building.

The St. Charles County Health Department states that despite this news, numbers show a “normal” flu season; however, it is not uncommon for schools or offices to experience an outbreak of the illness.

Assumption science teacher Steve Quan comments that with most students being sick, teaching his class has become difficult.

“We've had to make some changes on lessons, no quizzes, no tests,” says Quan. “I had six in one class today that normally has about 24.”

Assumption has nearly 600 students that attend the Catholic school with a “typical” February hitting around 10 students total being out sick.

Principal Dr. Pat Hensley reports that each day this week, the number of students out sick has risen from 72 to 144.

The health department states there are roughly 1,100 flu cases in the county this season which is not considered to be high for the typical flu-season.

A flu virus is able to stay “live” for up to two days on a surface and is considered highly infectious. Schools are an easy target for a spread of infection because of this. All it can take is a cough or a sneeze for the virus to spread.

The health department recommends for people to get their flu shots because the virus does not only reach students, but staff and those at home as well.

Starting Thursday, morning crews at the school will be spraying disinfectant throughout all the school’s buildings and could take up to a day and a half.

The disinfection process will close the school Thursday and Friday, and parents are being advised to not let their children return to school until fully recovered.

Aside from Assumption, Ascension Catholic School in Chesterfield will be closing down to sanitize for the rest of the week as well.

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