Local daycares take precautions to prevent flu-like illnesses

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Since the start of the flu season, 20 kids have already died from the flu putting daycare facilities on high alert. 

Nurse Laura Finn is making her rounds at Operation Breakthroughs' Child Development Center
Finn is on the lookout for children with flu-like symptoms. Operation Breakthrough has about 290 kids that are six weeks to 5 years old, children who are susceptible to catching and spreading the flu.

Mary Esselman is the CEO of Operation Breakthrough.

"We're seeing on average about an additional 10 to 15 kids a day that are home to some kind of illness. One of the things that are really lucky for us is we have a Children's Mercy Clinic on site and a nurse that makes rounds every day, " said Esselman.

Dr. Rupal Gupta is the onsite medical director for the Children's Hospital Clinic that operates out of Operation Breakthrough.

"We're definitely seeing an uptick in flu-like illnesses this year. We can immediately respond to those children and get them examined if we need to and get them home," said Gupta.

To ward off the spread of the virus sick children are put on a "do not admit" list until the flu-like symptoms pass.

Jackson County has seen 935 flu cases this season, up from 355 last year. Johnson County has seen more than 1,400 reported cases, 194 of those cases were children under the age of 5.

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