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Viruses cause high absentee rates at schools

By By James Crawford
News Editor
If you have a child feeling a bit under the weather this week, you're not alone.
All six of the immediate area schools – including Escambia County High School, Escambia County Middle School, Escambia Academy, Rachel Patterson, A.C. Moore and Huxford – reported borderline or high numbers of absentees due to sickness early this week.
EA reported 53 absences on Tuesday, roughly 20 percent of its entire student population. ESHS had 45 sick, ECMS had 61, RP had 60 for several days in a row, A.C. Moore had 22 out, and Huxford had 23 out sick on Tuesday and 31 on Monday. That translates to approximately 7-10 percent of the student bodies for those schools.
The unusually high sick rate is attributed to a bacterial virus with most students reporting flu symptoms, fever, sick stomachs, streph throat, nausea or diarrhea but nothing out of the ordinary that would cause alarm according to RP Principal Beth Drew. "It seems to be just the normal virus. I haven't had a parent come back and say 'my child has something.'"