Illness closes schools in Laurel County

LONDON, Ky. (WKYT) -- Custodians were busy spraying down lockers and desks at South Laurel Middle School Friday, part of efforts to sanitize the school.

The flu has reared its ugly head in Laurel County, and as result the district was closed Friday. It's one of several districts closed in the region.

"We're repeatedly getting reports of running fevers, 101 (degrees) or even more," said South Laurel Middle principal Jeff Reed.

South Laurel has more than a thousand students. More than 10% have either not show up..or gone home sick. Similar stories are being told in the district's other schools.

"Since last week, we've been running 100 to 120, 130 students absent a day," Reed said.

And it's not just the students, it's the teachers and staff, some of which have missed 5 to 6 straight days.

Many of them have complained of severe symptoms. Officials say the illness has taken a toll on attendance and instruction.

"You have 8 or 9 students out in a class. The next day, you have some of them back, and some more gone. You are having to repeat instruction a lot," said Reed.

Reed says his school alone has had 11 confirmed cases of influenza B.

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