Flu outbreak keeps 20 percent of Neillsville students home - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Flu outbreak keeps 20 percent of Neillsville students home

The Neillsville Elementary School lunchroom might look a little less crowded today.

That's because one out every five student in the district stayed home.

District leaders said the flu is to blame.

"We certainly don't feel blessed by being gifted with this," said John Gaier, Neillsville District Administrator.

School officials said both respiratory and stomach flu are going around, and if a child is showing symptoms, they should stay home.

Still – that many missing students makes an impact.

"Our teachers will keep moving forward with their curriculums, and we will make sure that kids who do miss have every opportunity to make up any work that they have missed," said Gaier.

With so many student sick in the Neillsville School District, people in the community said they're nervous about getting sick.

"I think it's nerve-wracking," said Jessica Koopman of Loyal.

"We have received a few calls already from parents who have just decided to keep their kids home as a cautionary measure," said Gaier.

"I think there's a little bit of fear about getting the flu, more so right now," said Kristin Weiler, Pharmacist at Sniteman's in Neillsville.

And that fear has prompted many to get flu shots.

Weiler says Sniteman's Pharmacy has seen an increase in people asking to be vaccinated.

"People that, typically, maybe who wouldn't have gotten the flu vaccine are coming in because of how severe it's been," said Weiler.

As for the school district, leaders said they're trying to contain the outbreak.

"We're doing a lot of sanitizing of all hard surfaces that people may come into contact with. So, we're doing everything we can," said Gaier.

School officials hope things will return to normal next week.

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