EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 2, 2013

Flu outbreak at Pelham High appears to be waning

Worst seems to be over

By John Toole

---- — PELHAM — A late season flu outbreak appears to be abating at Pelham High.

School nurse Barbara Campbell warned the school community last week as absences soared.

"We had over 70 students absent yesterday and again today, and a high percentage of those reported to have flu-like symptoms," Campbell said on the school website midweek.

As many as 60 percent of those calling in sick reported flu-like symptoms, she said.

The situation appeared to be improving yesterday.

"Last week, we hit the peak and now we're going down," Campbell said.

Custodial staff beefed up cleaning efforts, while the school encouraged the ailing to stay home.

"It seems to be working," Campbell said.

Pelham had seen a surge in flu after February vacation, Campbell said.

Chris Adamski, the chief of the state's Bureau of Infectious Disease Control, confirmed the flu woes in Pelham.

"They did have a couple of kids test positive for the flu," Adamski said. "Unfortunately, flu season is not over yet."

Flu season has peaked in New Hampshire, but Adamski said there remain pockets of activity.

"It really has decreased," she said.

Pelham was the only Southern New Hampshire school district seeing a high number of absences, officials said.

People who are concerned about the flu still can get vaccinated if they haven't already, though Adamski said it would take a couple of weeks for a body to benefit from a shot.