New Brunswick

Flu forces elementary school in Edmundston to close Friday

Carrefour de la Jeunesse elementary school in Edmundston is closed Friday because 30 per cent of students and some staff have been diagnosed or have symptoms of influenza. 

254 cases of influenza have been reported across the province during this year's flu season

Carrefour de la Jeunesse is closed today because 30 per cent of students and some staff have contracted the flu. (Bernard Lebel/Radio-Canada)

Carrefour de la Jeunesse elementary school in Edmundston has closed today because 30 per cent of students and some staff have been diagnosed or have symptoms of influenza.

Custodians are scrubbing the entire school clean Friday, to limit the risk of spreading. 

The elementary school sent out a Facebook post Thursday about the school closure, saying it was a "preventive measure." 

The Facebook post also said school administration and the Francophone Northwest School District are collaborating with New Brunswick's Department of Health. 

Dr. Na-Koshie Lampety, regional medical officer of health, said the she sometimes suggests specific cleaning agents to combat flu viruses in schools. 

"We do recommend specific cleaning agents that are known to be more effective against some of those viruses [because] some of them are quite hearty and regular cleaning agents won't be as effective," Lampety said.

It's also more effective to clean sanitary areas first before progressing to ones that are more dirty.

"Those are not high-tech solutions, but we do know they make a difference in controlling the spread of organism."  

Dr. Gabriel Girouard, a microbiologist with Vitalité Health Network, predicted this year's flu season could be more severe than last year.

Since the beginning of the flu season in late August, 254 cases have been reported, according to New Brunswick's most recent influenza report.

Thirty-nine influenza related hospitalizations and two deaths have been reported so far. 

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