REXFORD, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Another elementary school was shut down amid a spike in flu cases. The Niskayuna School District says student absences at Glencliff Elementary were reaching about 20%. There was also an increase in adult absences, so the decision was made to close school on Wednesday.

“Definitely seen a spike in the flu in the last few weeks,” said Dr. Michael Ferro. He says Ellis Medicine’s Walk-In Primary Care in Schenectady is seeing a small outbreak of patients with the flu.

“And it just knocks a lot of us out for up to 5 to 7 days and it can be pretty painful,” he said.

So far this season, there’s been more than 72,000 cases of the flu in New York. There were enough kids sick at Glencliff Elementary to warrant a one day closure. Two weeks ago, Birchwood Elementary in Niskayuna did the same.

“We’re spreading without knowing at times if it’s the day before you show a sign, that goes to why it spreads so easily,” said Dr. Ferro.

It can take a full day to show symptoms, so when you do, get right in for a test.
“It’s a fine brush just goes up into the outer part of the nose collect some of the mucus up there and we can test for the virus of that,” explained Dr. Ferro.

Lab results come back in an hour or two. Anti-virals are most effective within the first two days of the flu.

“You’re doing yourself a service and you’re getting the treatment that otherwise, once you’re out of that window, sometimes you can’t see an effect from,” he said.

Ellis Medicine is partnering with CDPHP to help the public better understand where it’s best to seek care. For things like the flu, earaches, or minor cuts, go to urgent care or walk-in Primary Care over the emergency room.

“Where they look at people that may be having a heart attack or stroke and those people are often seen first. The individual that comes to our office can be seen often more readily and more quickly,” he said.

It can also be a lot cheaper. CDPHP says the average cost to treat bronchitis at the ER is $1,000 dollars as opposed to just $115 at a primary care walk-in. As for flu recovery, Dr. Ferro says to rest, hydrate, and take Tylenol for minor aches and pains. If you’ve been untouched by the flu so far, don’t get comfortable. Flu season runs until April and it’s as good a time as any to get the flu shot.

A custodial crew is focusing on disinfecting classrooms at Glencliff, and the school will be back open Thursday.