Abilene ISD staff said hundreds of Abilene kids have missed school because they have had the flu.

Linda Langston is the Director of Health services for Abilene ISD.

She said phones have been ringing off the hook because parents are calling in about sick children.

Langston said the numbers are steadily increasing.

Here’s a breakdown of absences due to the flu or flu like symptoms:

203 - week before Christmas

101 - after Christmas break

165 - the next week

478 - last week

Staff feel it will only get worse in the weeks to come.

“With the flu season, I feel like it will continue through February going up,” Langston said.

A big issue is the district is seeing is kids being sent to school who are sick.

Langston said it’s better to let children make up tests and work when they’re well.

“That’s what, you know, the problem is. If you are sick, you are symptomatic, you do have the symptoms of having the flu, we don’t need you to come to school,” Langston said.

She added that they shouldn't be sent in to school immediately after their fever breaks.

“If they are diagnosed with the flu, then they need to stay home until they’re afebrile, or without fever for 24 hours without the help of a fever reducing medication,” Langston said.

Abilene ISD workers are doing their best to combat the problem.

“Our custodians are working really hard they’re disinfecting with a disinfectant that’s a misting spray and they’re going in and cleaning all the surfaces in the school,” Langston said.

At first, most cases were younger children.

“They don’t wash their hands as often, they put their hands in their mouth a lot,” Langston said.