Flu causing high work absenteeism, schools largely unaffected

Flu causing high work absenteeism, schools largely unaffected

Major cities around Texas are reporting high rates of absenteeism across work and school environments thanks this year's highly active flu season. Some East Texas employers say they, too, have been hurt buy people calling in sick.

"Right before Christmas we had quite a few people out with illness and probably the most people we've had out since I've been here," John Braun with Wilhite Landscape and Lawn Care said.

Braun did not get sick. Instead he was left trying to fill in the gaps.

"It was just a lot of adjusting the schedule and going to plan B and such," he said.

Meanwhile, school districts across East Texas reported no spike in student absences. They all said their employees had been coming to work as well.

Officials with Tyler ISD and Longview ISD said advanced planning had lead to shot clinics and flu education opportunities that may have curbed any flu outbreaks on campuses.

"It spreads very easily and so you end up having what could be an epidemic and so it's really important that we try to educate the kids," TISD Coordinator of Health Services Cindy Fancher said. "If the kids are displaying any signs or symptoms at all--fever of 100 or greater, sneezing, coughing--we'd like them to stay home so they don't spread it with their friends."

Braun agreed that, no matter the inconvenience, a sick employee should stay away from work.

"If they are sick, even though they want to work, they should stay home so that they don't infect everyone else around them," he said.


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