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H1N1 Bug Begins To Bite In Hannibal

<p>The H1N1 flu virus.</p>
The H1N1 flu virus.

A few days back, we asked Hannibal, Fulton and Oswego schools for attendance data for the month so far.  This is data they’re reporting daily both to the state, for state aid purposes, and to the county Health Department, which is tracking the spread of H1N1 flu.

Only Hannibal has responded with data so far.  We’ll bring you the rest of it when we get it.

You can see that about two weeks ago, Hannibal has gone from an average level of absences (about 5-6% a day, according to Superintendent Mike DiFabio) to a much higher level.

Hannibal:
10/1: 6.385%
10/2: 7.088%
10/5: 6.546%
10/6: 4.752%
10/7: 5.459%
10/8: 5.327%
10/13: 5.591%
10/14: 6.807%
10/15: 6.551%
10/16: 7.642%
10/19: 8.740%
10/20: 10.668%
10/21: 8.880%
10/22: 11.003%
10/23: 14.101%

Most flu cases are presumed to be H1N1 even if testing to confirm the type of virus is not done, because H1N1 is the dominant flu strain at the moment.

I had a conversation with Fulton Superintendent Bill Lynch about flu absences.  He mentioned that some schools have had absence rates as high as 20%, but we’re waiting for data to confirm the overall level.