Boyne City Schools Close Due to Flu Outbreak, Local Health Officials See Uptick in Influenza A

A Northern Michigan school district cancelled class for the rest of the week to help combat a flu outbreak.

Boyne City Public schools realized something was wrong when nearly 45 percent of elementary students stayed home sick on Monday, the school says from there more students began calling in sick at the middle and high school, towards the middle of this week.

For High School Junior Nicholas Bollman it was surprising to get three days off, but he says he did notice just how many kids weren’t at school

“On Monday we noticed a lot of students gone,” Nicholas Bollmann, said.

Well over 100 students missed school that day.

Some went to see Nicholas’ Mom, Carrie, a nurse practitioner in Boyne City.

“We probably only saw six to eight people from Thanksgiving to now who had influenza. On Monday and Tuesday we probably had 15 to 20 kids each day that tested positive for Influenza A, it’s a very quick onset and the spread has been very rapid. The majority of patients were under the age of 12,” Carrie Bollmann, said.

Dr. Megan Coggon a pediatrician with Munson Healthcare’s Charlevoix Pediatrics saw a similar rise in flu cases this week.

“We had a big uptick in Influenza A cases in particular. We are just starting to see the rise of that in the last two weeks and so it’s really important to protect yourselves and the people you love by getting the flu shot,” Dr. Coggon, added.

It is not just class that’s been cancelled but school events and athletic events have been cancelled for the rest of this week as well, the school hopes to have things back on track on Monday.

With the recent outbreak doctors want to remind everyone about the importance of getting a flu shot.

Both local doctors and the Health Department of Northwest Michigan say it’s never too late to get one.

Thursday afternoon they are hosting a flu immunization clinic at Boyne City Hall from 1p.m. to 3 p.m. for people looking to get vaccinated.

“This is another opportunity for them to get vaccinated it’s not too late, the influenza is going to be spreading for the next several weeks or even months here in Northern Michigan, so if you haven’t been vaccinated this is a great time to do it,” Medical Director Dr. Joshua Meyerson, said.

For more information on the clinic and the health department, click here.