CAMILLUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - The most recent influenza data from the CDC reports the flu staying steady at widespread across nearly the entire United States.
In New York state, this is the 10th consecutive week in a row that widespread activity has been reported.
In Onondaga County, the number of confirmed cases to date for this flu season is more than 1,800, according to the state health department.
For Central New York schools, the focus on fighting the flu is in high gear as some are taking advantage of empty buildings during winter break.
"I started looking at my staff attendance -- do you have enough adults to run the school? We've used some substitutes and that kind of thing but I'm sure all schools have," said Chris Brown, West Genesee superintendent. "I was keeping a daily eye on it. You never know, if you have a super large outbreak -- you may either have to close school or make a bigger decision like that, fortunately, we didn't have to."
Brown says absences have been about the same for this time last year.
"I would say they've kind of increased even last year," Brown said. "We had a decent dose of the flu last year also and this year is about the same."
Brown says he's confident in the daily cleaning routine, but there's already been deep-cleaning happening inside district buildings.
"Our custodians and cleaners can really, really get in and do a deep dive everywhere -- locker rooms, cafeterias, gathering spaces," Brown said. "They have protocols in place for every single night of what they want to clean but a lot of those hard surfaces, locker benches and all those kinds of things are going to get a double a dose during the break. So, hopefully that and us getting away from each other for a few days is going to be a good thing and then hopefully we can get on with the rest of the school year."
Per the CDC's recommendations, Brown says each district building is encouraging good hand-washing with soap and water.
The West Genesee High School, the district's largest building, has been hard hit by the flu and other seasonal illnesses, according to Brown. The school has about 2,000 people in the building on any given day. Brown says this makes the likelihood for the spread of germs higher.
According to the state health department, during the current flu season, children between the ages of 5 and 17 years old account for more than 16,200 flu cases and more than 17,500 flu cases are within the age group, 18 to 49.
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