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St. Mary's Elementary in Joplin closes due to high number of ill - KOAM TV 7

St. Mary's Elementary in Joplin closes due to high number of ill students

Updated:
Classes will resume tomorrow at St. Mary's Elementary School in Joplin after closing today due to a high number of students with confirmed cases of the flu.

School officials have been taking measures to disinfect the entire building.

4th grader Joe Staton is one of the nearly 40 students who has been feeling under the weather.

"A lot of kids have had fevers, runny noses and been coughing," Staton said.

Staton is currently battling a cold, and says many of his classmates are much sicker.

More than 10 students reported confirmed cases of the flu this week.

"I think it was a good idea that we got out of school so they didn't come and get everyone else sick," Staton said.

One teacher has a confirmed flu case as well.

Administrators have asked parents via email to report any confirmed sicknesses their children have. 

Classes were canceled Tuesday to disinfect the entire building, down to every desk top.

"I used lysol and cleaned chairs, the desks and made sure that we don't have any flu germs in the bathrooms," said John England, janitor.

School officials encourage any parent with a child exhibiting flu symptoms to see a doctor before allowing the child to return to school.

"Definitely stay home if it persists," said Ann Hamlet, principal.  "If they're throwing up, if they've got a high fever, go and get it checked out."

Hamlet is hopeful the widespread disinfection will put an end to the outbreak.

"I think it will be short lived activity and the way we're handling it, I know it will be a lot shorter than it would have been," she said.

"I hope that everyone gets better soon," Staton said.

Officials at the Joplin Health Department say flu symptoms generally show up anywhere between one and seven days after exposure.
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