H1N1 hits Dubuque high school - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

H1N1 hits Dubuque high school

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) - Students in Dubuque are staying home, hundreds of them. In fact. Wednesday 11 percent of students at Wahlert High School were absent. And Thursday, more than 90 students were absent, that's nearly 16 percent of the student body.

But don't' be alarmed, it's actually a good thing. That's because it means students are staying home if they are feeling sick and reducing the risk of getting other people sick. Thursday more than 90 students were absent, about 16-percent of the population, mostly due to illness. But Friday that number dropped slightly. The school reports 79 students absent, that's about 14 percent.

Schools in Iowa are asked to report to the Department of Health if student absences, due-to-illness, reach 10 percent or higher. So far, Wahlert is the only school in Dubuque to report that high of an absence rate but the trend could continue.

"You should stay home until you're fever free for 24 hours so if the illness lasts from 3-7 days that absentee rate could stay up for awhile," said Mary Rose Corrigan, Health Specialist for the City of Dubuque.

Of course Wahlert will continue to report to the County Health Department until their absentee rate is less than 10 percent.

In the meantime they'll continue to teach and practice the three C's: Clean hands, cough and sneeze in your sleeves and contain germs by staying home.

Two schools in Iowa City have reached the 10 percent absentee rate. Iowa City High had more the 322 students absent Friday, that's 23 percent. But that is down from yesterday when they had nearly 400 out. Also in Iowa City, Grant Wood Elementary reported more than 40 students out Friday.

Online reporter: Lauren Squires

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