Flu outbreak forces North Texas school to close – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Flu outbreak forces North Texas school to close – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

A private school in North Texas closed its campus to some of its students this week after an apparent flu outbreak.

Greenhill School, located off Spring Valley Road in Addison, canceled classes Thursday and Friday for students in grades seven through 12.

School spokesperson Kerry Shea gave the following statement to NBC 5:

“Greenhill School closed grades 7-12 on Thursday, October 27 and Friday, October 28 due to excessive absences as a result of a flu-like illness among students. The decision was made in consultation with Dallas County Health and Human Services in an effort to reduce the possible spread of infection and to allow students who are sick to rest and recover.”

She said she did not have the number of absences, but said the number was “high”.

The campus has nearly 1,300 students, according to the website. School will be open for all grades on Monday, Shea said.

A DCHHS spokesman said schools dealing with an outbreak take into account several factors, including situations where teachers are out sick.

There is no threshold number of absences that officials use to determine whether to support closing a school.

“Because the school showed several flu-like cases in several students, the decision to close the school was made directly by the school district and directly by the school,” DCHHS spokesman Christian Grisales said.

The county’s latest weekly flu case report shows the total number of confirmed cases remains low in the county at 3.1% for the week ending Oct. 15.

This week, Parkland Hospital’s chief medical officer, Dr. Joseph Chang, told NBC 5’s Bianca Castro that nearly 20 people were treated in Parkland for the flu.

“That’s low compared to some of the peak years before COVID, but it’s actually the highest number since COVID, so we definitely expect this season to pick up soon,” Chang said.

With a slight spike in COVID-19 cases at the start of the school year and an increase in young patients with the respiratory disease RSV, health leaders say closures like the one in Greenhill could happen anywhere.

“The number one thing is going to be prevention,” Chang said. “Flu. It’s shooting. Go get it.”


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s health alert Thursday night warns of high flu prevalence across the Lone Star State.

On Thursday, Cook Children’s reported that its emergency room and urgent care were overwhelmed with patients who tested positive for the flu and other respiratory viruses.

“We’re seeing numbers I’ve never seen before,” said Dr. Maxie Brewer.

In the Emergency Department, the staff treats 500 children a day, an average of one child every two minutes.

The pediatric intensive care unit is close to capacity with about half of the patients diagnosed with RSV. Others are positive for flu and other respiratory diseases.

“Right now we’re seeing an increase of a couple of them, which is causing even more havoc, because we have more patients getting sick and needing beds, as opposed to years when we usually have just one virus that’s mostly causing the problem,” Brewer said.

Also, unlike years past, this spike comes well before the holiday season with the number of flu cases already on par with what was seen at Cook Children’s late last November.

“With the drop in the number of people infected with COVID, we stopped using our masks. We really didn’t separate ourselves that much. And so those viruses, because we wore masks, really didn’t get to the children. And now that those masks are gone, that virus is easily spread,” she said.

According to the CDC, Texas is one of four states nationwide that already shows high levels of respiratory illness.

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