This flu season has been a doozy – one of the worst in the past decade – and the virus has caused schools to close in at least 12 states.
Even for schools that don’t close, the flu can be disruptive, with students coughing and sniffling in class, or falling behind while home sick.
Between 5 and 20 percent of people in the United States get the flu each fall and winter, according to the National Institutes of Health. Moreover, the flu accounted for 39 percent of illness episodes and led to more than 1,075 missed school days over three flu seasons according to a study of more than 1,000 school-aged children published earlier this year in the Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses journal.
Those missed school days can have a huge effect on student outcomes – and the budget.