AURORA, Ill. (WLS) --Classes were canceled Friday at Holy Angels Catholic School in southwest suburban Aurora.
The principal said nearly 20 percent of the school's 460 students are home sick with "flu-like symptoms," strep throat or other infections. On Wednesday, 46 students called in sick, followed by 78 sick calls on Thursday.
"We decided to try and nip it in the bud, as it were, and have an extra day for the weekend to see if we can break the cycle of passing on the illnesses," said Father Michael Lavan.
Normally, Gianna Ramirez would be in her second grade classroom on a Friday.
"I just watched TV all day," said Ramirez.
As students found ways to stay busy at home, teachers and cleaning crews wiped down nearly every surface of the school during the day, and planned another round of cleaning at night.
In nearly every state, including Illinois and Indiana, people were experiencing flu symptoms as the flu season peaked.
Most people can recover from the flu on their own, but some of the worst symptoms merit a visit to the doctor or hospital, doctors said.
"If you're having confusion in the elderly, difficulty breathing...or if children look very sick, they may be dehydrated," said Laurel Kietzman, MD, at Presence Mercy Medical Center.
Holy Angels will reopen on Monday.