Illness is taking its toll in the Milbank area. According to Patti Swenson at Avera Medical Group Milbank, 28 people tested positive for influenza A or B , 8 tested positive for mononucleosis, and 11 tested positive for strep in the last week. Other illnesses such as viral bronchitis and viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu) are also being seen by the doctors. These numbers include both adults and kids,” she says. “The numbers are on the high side for only one week’s time.” Swenson says a large number of people received a flu vaccination prior to this season.
Illness is also causing a dramatic dip in attendance at the Milbank schools. Milbank School District Superintendent Tim Graf states, “13% of the students district-wide were absent from classes the past two days. That amounts to nearly 120 students missing each day. Not all are absent because of illness, but this is still an abnormally high number. We typically have around 5% or maybe higher gone during the cold and flu season.” The question was raised about closing school because of the number of students absent, but Graf says the number would need to be nearly 20% for that to take place.