Swine Flu Blamed Absences in Butte Middle School

By Beacon Staff

BUTTE – More than a quarter of the students at Butte’s East Middle School have called in sick this week, and school officials think an outbreak of swine flu is to blame.

Mark Harrison, Butte Schools director of central services, says East had 140 students out sick Wednesday — or about 27 percent of the total student body. As of Tuesday, about 13 percent of Butte High School students had called in sick.

But schools Superintendent Linda Reksten says administrators are not considering closing the schools. Instead, they are thoroughly cleaning the buildings and are trying to keep kids who are sick at home.

Butte-Silver Bow health officials attribute the students’ sickness to swine flu because it is the only strain going around.

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