Flu-like illness affecting dozens of children in south Mobile County
MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) —
Hundreds of families in Mobile County are suffering through an outbreak of the flu and strep throat and one clinic told NBC 15 it’s the worst outbreak they’ve seen in decades.
Dozens of kids in southwest Mobile County have been sent home with a flu like illness. Those students attend schools in Theodore, Bayou la Batre, Irvington and Tillmans Corner.
"Probably one of the worst we have seen in 25 - 30 years," said Mostellar Medical Clinic Chief Executive Officer James Holland.
Dozens are testing positive for the flu at Mostellar Medical Clinic daily.
"We have been seeing a few other viruses besides the flu, but predominately flu type A is what we have been seeing we have seen 64 cases just this week at our clinic 16 cases of strep just this week at our clinic," says Physical Assistant Kathy Hintz.
Chief Executive Officer James Holland says it's so bad the diseases are causing a shortage of flu swabs.
"Labs are backed up we have had to bring in extra emergency supplies of flu swabs. We have just run out, we have been so busy," said Holland.
They're expecting those numbers to rise.
"It just seems to be spreading more rapidly this year. We have had a few people who have gotten the flu even though they have had the flu vaccine," said Hintz.
A concerned parent at Hankins Middle emailed NBC 15 concerned about all the illnesses at her child’s school. Mostellar tells us flu and strep are spreading through the south mobile county school feeder pattern.
"I think we have reached when you see these kinds numbers in a short amount of time including the strep and the flu then absolutely that's a consideration -- time to close," said Holland.
Doctors say you should keep your child out of school a full week after they’ve had a fever to protect their classmates.
"You don't want your kids at school sick because if they go to school sick then you are getting other kids sick and it passes back and forth," says Sonda Temmes.
The Mobile school district says so far about 90%of kids are still coming to class throughout the county.
Doctors remind you there’s still time to get your flu shot. It’s the best way to protect yourself and your family.