Flu primary suspect for jump in area school absences

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Influenza, or a condition with flu-like symptoms, is thought to be the cause of a recent increase in absenteeism in Independence County public schools.

Gary Anderson, assistant superintendent for the Batesville School District, said Batesville’s absentee rate was at nine percent, or about 280 students, on Wednesday, Jan. 24.  About half that, four-point-five percent, is normal for the school system, according to Anderson.

And Southside School representatives note almost 20 percent of the student body has been absent in recent days.

Southside and Batesville school officials note they really don’t know the reason behind the recent jump in absenteeism but suspect the flu is the primary culprit.

Two other Independence County school systems, Cedar Ridge and Midland, are reporting normal amounts of absentees for this time of the year.

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