Kansas elementary school temporarily closes due to rising respiratory illnesses

An elementary school in Kansas City, Kansas has become one of the last to temporarily close due to an upsurge in respiratory illnesses among students and staff.

Christ the King Catholic School closed for three days from Wednesday “due to illness” including the flu and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), the school announced this week.

“With the high number of positive cases of influenza A and RSV among our faculty, staff and students, we will also be disinfecting the building,” the school said on Tuesday. social media tuesday. “Please pray for the health of our CTK community.”

School officials told ABC Kansas City, Missouri, affiliate KMBC that out of 250 students, 50 to 60 were sick. Seven of the school’s 21 teachers also have the flu, RSV or COVID-19, the station reported.

“Just anticipating that it would continue to spread this week, we went ahead and called him so we could disinfect the building as well,” Principal Cathy Fithian told KMBC.

A faculty shortage also factored into the decision.

“If you can’t staff your building and have teachers in the classrooms, you just can’t have a school,” she told KMBC.

Christ the King School in Kansas City, Kansas closed for the week due to students and staff suffering from respiratory illnesses, November 11, 2022.


The school did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

The closure comes as the region sees an increase in pediatric emergency room visits for flu-like symptoms, including RSV. The common respiratory virus usually causes mild cold-like symptoms, but can be serious for some, especially infants and the elderly.

Overland Park Regional Medical Center said it has seen a 100% increase in patients presenting to pediatric ERs since the start of the school year for seasonal illnesses such as bronchiolitis, which is most often caused by RSV, and influenza.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows an increase in confirmed RSV cases for the Midwest region, which includes Kansas and Missouri, as of September.

Nationally, RSV cases rose from 2,191 cases for the week ending September 3 to 13,759 for the week ending October 29. CDC data shows.

According to the CDC, respiratory diseases are appearing earlierand in more people than usual.

Doctors have warned that Americans may face a “tripledemicthis year, with an increase in RSV cases alongside the spread of COVID-19 and influenza this fall and winter.

Children are likely being exposed to viruses now that pandemic restrictions such as masking, social distancing and lockdowns have mostly been lifted, public health experts say.

School districts in several states have also been affected by the disease this school year.

In Kentucky, all public schools in Fayette County closed Monday “due to widespread illness among students and staff,” the district said. said. In North Carolina, public schools in Jackson County have also been closed on Mondays “due to health and personnel issues.”

In Alabama, Marshall County Public Schools went remote this week due to an increase in flu cases among students and staff.

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