Flu outbreak at Yukon elementary school keeps more than 100 kids home

YUKON, Okla. - The Oklahoma State Department of Health is issuing another warning about the flu season ahead of the holiday season.

There is currently widespread flu activity across the state.

“We have eight regions in Oklahoma and widespread for us means four or more of those regions are having increased flu activity,” said OSDH Epidemiologist Kendra Dougherty.

The flu has even closed the doors to one local elementary school.

Teachers and staff at Central Elementary School in Yukon are wiping down everything from the walls to the crayons.

This week, 115 students were absent from class. That’s out of 373 students.

Tuesday, five teachers called in sick. By Wednesday morning, that number increased to 10, with three confirming they had the flu.

“You could be spreading the virus up to a day or more in some instances before you ever show signs or symptoms,” said Dougherty.

Administrators closed down the school Wednesday in efforts to rid the virus from the classroom.

Healthcare workers said it's still too early tell if this season will beat the last season, but the Department of Health can confirm deaths from the flu.

“We had 135 individuals that have been hospitalized with lab confirmed influenza, and we had two influenza associated deaths so far,” Dougherty said.

And, even if you just got over one strain of the flu, doctors say that doesn't protect you from getting the flu again this season.

“You have a very good chance of getting like, up to four strains,” Dougherty said.

Doctors say the best protection against the virus is the flu vaccine.

Central Elementary students are expected to return to class Thursday.