AURORA, Ill. - A west suburban grade school has closed for the rest of the week because of the flu.
Holy Angels Catholic School in Aurora says it has canceled classes to try and minimize exposure to the virus.
"It's a bummer! I mean, I was alone at my desk because my friends were sick," said first grader Emma Swiatek.
So was more than a quarter of the school, according to its principal.
"This morning started off with 113 gone. We had another 13 gone by the end of the day," said Tonya Forbes, principal.
To keep parents from having to keep kids out of school or send them in sick and risk spreading the virus further, the school opted to cancel classes for the rest of the week.
"I was pretty surprised. I expected it to be a day off, like tomorrow have no school. I didn't know it was going to be a full week off," said fourth grader Jack Swiatek.
During this year's punishing flu season, doctors warn the flu can quickly turn into something worse.
"Sometimes a viral infection like influenza is followed by a bacterial infection like pneumonia so if you notice that your child is getting better and then suddenly gets worse, they might have gotten a pneumonia on top of the flu virus," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, Centers for Disease Control.
The Centers for Disease Control said another 16 children have died from the flu, bringing the number of flu-associated deaths in kids to 53 so far this season.
Last week, a North Riverside elementary school also closed for the week because of the flu. Komarek Elementary School officials said they made the decision to close after more than 80 children called in sick.