West suburban elementary school closed for the week as flu hits another district

NORTH RIVERSIDE, Ill. -- The flu bug has bit again, this time shutting down Komarek School District 94 in the west suburbs Tuesday, as school officials give the building a deep cleaning to try and keep the flu from spreading even further.

Supt. Brian Ganan says he started noticing absences going up last week, so his custodial staff disinfected the school over the weekend, but it wasn’t enough. On Monday, close to 80 of the school’s 555 students called out sick.

"I was also in the nurses office for a portion of the day trying to help the nurse but also trying to keep an eye on the situation," Supt. Ganan said. "It was non-stop traffic, it was traffic like I’ve never seen before."

With the CDC reporting 37 children have died from the flu this season, Supt. Ganan says safety is a priority and he didn’t want to take any chances with the health of his students. St. Patrick High School on Chicago’s North Side is also dealing with a rise in flu cases. The school’s president said 87 of its 650 students were absent Monday. That’s about 14 percent out, while on a normal day only about 2 or 3 percent would be absent. All of this follows last week’s decision by the Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora to shut down for a week after 88 of its students came down with the flu.

"I do know that closing school for 4 days can be an inconvenience for families, most of our families have both parents are working, however we don’t want their kids to get sick and i will say our communities has been positive," Supt. Ganan said.