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Flu on the rise in Wisconsin, local schools trying to stop the virus from spreading

Wisconsin Department of Health Services reports flu activity is rising and local schools are trying to keep the flu from spreading.  The Department of Health Services reports 613 people were hospitalized across the state because of the flu this past week.

Wauwatosa parent John Rownd said his two children got the flu and missed four days of school. Rownd said he had a doctor’s appointment scheduled, but the flu beat them to it.

“They had a fever, they were getting sick,” Rownd said. “This flu is bad.”

Local schools recommend keeping kids at home until they are symptom-free for 48 hours. Milwaukee Public School Nurse Lori Perry said that could help stop the flu from spreading.

“What was causing their illness which may still be contagious to other children, that they're able to stay home for that additional day,” Perry said.

The Wauwatosa School District sent a letter to parents saying in part:

"We want to let you know as a district, we are monitoring this situation closely."

The district also said they are stepping up cleaning in the schools, saying in part:

"Our cleaning crews have been asked to pay extra attention to bathroom, lunchroom, and desk areas with thorough cleanings each night. We ask that staff and students please take extra steps of repeated handwashing throughout the day. Health officials say this simple step is most effective in limiting the spread of germs and the virus."

The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee is doing what it can to stop the spread of germs.

“This is a particularly bad season for the flu so we're reinforcing those lessons of handwashing, limited contact with sick people, and as an organization, our facilities are kept clean,” Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee Rebecca Ehlers said.

Ehlers said teaching children is essential.

“For organizations that work with youth, it's so important that we're not only reinforcing healthy habits here but taking those habits home,” Ehlers said.

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