Schools report absences related to various illnesses

By Elizabeth Gentle - bio | email

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -Swine flu, as well as other sicknesses like stomach virus and strep, are affecting perfect attendance.

Already schools are seeing higher than normal absentee rates.

Madison City and Huntsville City Schools say they are fortunate, attendance numbers are around 95%.

Other systems in our viewing area are experiencing lower class turnouts.

Lauderdale County is seeing an overall absentee rate of 9%.  That's slightly higher than last year.

Decatur City Schools started seeing a spike in absences last Friday. By Wednesday Austin High School reported 141 students home sick.  Decatur High School had 83 students out.

Oak Park Middle School, 50 absentees, that is double the number of students from 2008.

System wide, 672 students are out with illness.  That's 222 more than last year.

In Limestone county, Creekside Elementary School has the highest number of absences at 76. 16 of those reporting influenza like illness.

Ardmore High School comes in second with 70 students absent, 50 of those with flu.  Limestone County has 507 absences, 116 are flu related.

Meridianville Middle School in Madison County is showing 80% attendance due to flu illnesses.  Overall, the school system has a 94 pecent attendance rate.

As it stands, many are worried about catching swine flu.  A lot of people are chosing to stay home, away from anyone who might be sick.

"I go to college.  If I catch it or anything I don't want to spread it around. We can only miss a couple of days of school. I just don't want to catch it,' said Shatara Watkins.

"I've heard a lot of bad stories.  People dying its not something I'd like to catch," said Amanda Eichman.

"I've got a lot of concerns. I hate for anybody to catch it," said Prebble McKnight.

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