More eastern Idaho schools close because of illness

Posted at 11:36 AM, Feb 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-07 13:36:37-05

IDAHO FALLS — More eastern Idaho schools have been forced to close because of widespread flu-like illnesses.

The Post Register reports that so far eight school districts have closed schools this week: Blackfoot, Firth, Shelley, Fremont, Ririe, Snake River, Teton and West Jefferson. Another district, Jefferson, was closed Tuesday and Wednesday before opening Thursday.

Data from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare shows the Eastern Idaho Public Health District is seeing a normal amount of influenza cases this year. But some schools have been particularly hard hit, with absence rates reaching 20 percent.

Eastern Idaho Public Health Surveillance Epidemiologist Mike Taylor says this year's flu vaccine is a 50 to 60 percent match for the flu strain the CDC predicted would be most prevalent.