Less than 60 miles from El Campo, the influenza virus shut down Hallettsville and Shiner ISDs this week, but has largely spared local school children and teachers.

But it’s too early to stop taking precautions, according to Anita Crisp, a clinic director with El Campo Memorial Hospital.

With satellite clinics set up in an El Campo and Louise school district campus, the hospital is uniquely situated to monitor local illnesses.

So far, Crisp said, “It’s not that prevalent .. it’s a good indication we are doing well so far.”

The El Campo ISD satellite station has received only 14 positive flu tests since December, a rate Crisp says clinic workers describe as a mild season.

The clinic in Louise ISD reports only a few cases of flu as well, she said.

Precautions as simple hand washing can help ensure the virus is kept at bay.

“And it’s not too late to get a flu shot,” Crisp said.

Those who believe they are sick or have been diagnosed with it should stay home.

Flu seasons vary in intensity and in the timing of waves.

Statewide, the Texas Department Health and Human Services reports widespread flu, although the number of positive tests are decreasing slightly. However, three major outbreaks have been reported since Jan. 11 statewide.

All counties surrounding Wharton County have reported cases of flu with both A and B strains found in Brazoria and Austin counties.

Hallettsville ISD closed all its campuses Monday and Tuesday due to a flu outbreak, urging parents to disinfect their children’s backpacks and other material. Shiner ISD shut down Friday to do the same.

Statewide, the virus has caused the death of eight children.

The Center of Disease Control reports 172.2 million doses of the flu vaccine already distributed nationwide.

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