As the flu continues to spread in Beaufort County, an increasing number of students are coming down with the virus.
As of Friday, at least 362 cases of the flu have been confirmed within Beaufort County School District since schools reopened after winter break on Jan. 8.
The number of students confirmed with the flu this week was more than double those confirmed in the last three weeks combined, when 174 cases had been confirmed.
During last year’s entire flu season, a total of 53 cases were confirmed across the district.
Still, the number of cases amount to about 1.5 cases for every 100 students in the district, according to district spokesperson Jim Foster.
Schools in which 10 percent of students have been confirmed with the flu must report their numbers to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. According to Foster, none of the district’s schools have reached or are near reaching the 10 percent level.
The soaring number of flu cases confirmed in local schools mirrors the increase in cases across Beaufort County in general.
During the fourth week of January, more than 500 cases of the flu were confirmed in Beaufort County — double the number of cases confirmed in the previous week.
At least 84 people in South Carolina have died after being diagnosed with the flu, including 14 in the Lowcountry, according to data from DHEC.
The school district’s maintenance staff continues to use hospital-grade disinfectant to wipe down desks, tables, door handles, stairway railings and other surfaces every day after school.
School nurses are urging parents to keep their children at home if they’re sick until they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without medication, Foster said.
For more information about this year’s Lowcountry flu season and what you need to know about it, click here.