Flu, Strep lasting longer at Monroe schools

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ERIE, MI (13abc Action News) - This year's flu shot didn't 'break the skin' for many. Thursday, the CDC announced that the vaccine was only 25% effective at preventing the most common strain.

Elementary schools in our region have been hit especially hard, as teachers say little ones touch everything. The virus can survive a long time on surfaces like this tabletop. Now principal Debbie McCain says sick kids should stay home a full week.

"The other day, I had approximately 20-22 kids out in my fifth grade," McCain said.

McCain offered the flu shot to her staff but said this strain has the kids down for the count.

"I've had (students with) that 24 hour bug where the students are only out for a day or two. This is where it's hitting my kids for an entire week," McCain said.

She wants her kids fever and medicine free for at least 24 hours before they come back. Because...

"12-18 hours," Hana Mourad said.

That's how long this Virex lasts. And if a third grader comes back too soon...

"As soon as the first person or child that comes in with the flu, they've just undid everything we've did," Mourad said.

"Keep that distance with other kids. But our little ones like to stay close," Mccain said.

"When they're not feeling well... keep them at home," Mourad said.

In order to count as a full school day, at least 75% of the kids have to attend. The Mason Consolidated District hasn't lost a single day this school year due to sickness.