Aurora high school reopens after flu causes week-long closure

AURORA, Ill. (WLS) -- Classes are back in session Monday at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora.

IMSA was shut down for a deep clean last week after dozens of students and staff became ill. About 650 students attend the prestigious high school in Aurora.

Last week, 88 students and 13 faculty members missed school because they were sick with the flu. Monday, that number is down to just five.

This year's flu strain is hitting the area hard. Health officials call it widespread and deadly. And ten days ago, it hit students and staff at Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy.

On Friday the Jan. 19, 25 students called out of school because of the flu, that number quickly jumped to 88 by the following Monday, so the school took action. They shutdown classes and closed buildings for about a week to sanitize.

"Our cleaning crew spent, dedicated 500 man-hours to thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing the main academic building as well as the residence halls," said IMSA spokeswoman Tami Armstrong. "All reports are that the students that were ill have fully recovered and there is a sense of relief and a sense of appreciation for the prevention efforts that the administration and staff had put forward."

It appears that solution worked. Monday morning, only four students and one faculty member missed school because of the flu.

School officials say they closed the doors to help lessen the risk of more people getting sick. The school says the shutdown does not affect the academic calendar year.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.